Located approximately 11 miles south of Providence, this IBA is located on the south side of the Potowomut Peninsula that extends into Greenwich Bay at the northeastern limit of the Town of East Greenwich. The marsh lies on the south side of the peninsula at the mouth of the Potomowut River.

{link:For IBA map, click here.|http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/maps/RI/RI3605m_Potowomut.pdf}

Ornithological Summary

During sampling conducted between June 1 and July 14 of 2007 by Walter Berry (USEPA - Rhode Island) 37 individual Sharp-tailed Sparrows were detected in the marsh at this location. Sampling conducted in 2008 during the same time period revealed 40 individuals.

Conservation Issues

The proximity of residential development to the marsh is of concern due to the potential for feral cats to disturb nesting birds and the potential for lawn fertilizers and other nutrients entering the marsh soils encouraging the proliferation of non-native Phragmites haplotypes. Since the IBA lies entirely within private ownership, the upland portions of the IBA are susceptible to development. These undeveloped upland areas are important attributes of this system in that they provide for the landward movement of the saltmarsh ecosystem in the event of sea level rise resulting from global climate change.

Ownership

One hundred percent of this IBA lies in private Ownership (based on 2006 RIGIS data).

Habitat

A large portion of the habitat within this IBA consists of salt marsh. The abundance of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed sparrows attests to the quality of the habitat. Extensive areas of high elevation marsh zones occur within the salt marsh. Upland areas adjacent to the saltmarsh include grasslands, and a shrub swamp. Small areas of beach, dune, and emergent freshwater marsh also occur within the IBA.

(based on RIDEM 1999 Coastal Wetlands data available through RIGIS)

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.