US Army Corps of Engineers
New England District

River Basin Menu

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Rhode Island River Basins

There are 19 principal river basins that lie entirely or partially in New England. Three river basins lie in parts of Rhode Island to include the Blackstone, Thames and Pawcatuck. All three river basins have Corps' flood risk management projects within their drainage areas.

Blackstone River Basin
The Blackstone River Basin stretches from Worcester, Mass., to the Providence-Pawtucket area of Rhode Island. It is 46 miles long and has an average width of 12 miles.

The basin consists of 540 square miles, of which 382 square miles (71 percent) lie in Massachusetts and 158 square miles (29 percent) lie in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, it occupies one-third of Providence County, mainly in the county’s northern and northeastern sections.

Thames River Basin
The Thames River Basin lies mostly in the eastern third of Connecticut, with small sections extending into southern Massachusetts and northwester Rhode Island.

The basin comprises an area of 1,474 square miles. Of this, 1,162 square miles (75 percent) lie in Connecticut, 251 (20 percent) lie in Massachusetts, and 61 (five percent) lie in Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, the Thames River Basin occupies the western edge of Providence County and minor portions of Kent and Washington counties.

Pawcatuck River Basin
The Pawcatuck River Basin lies principally in the southwestern corner of Rhode Island. Two small portions are located in southeastern Connecticut. It is 22 miles long with a maximum width of 22 miles.

The basin extend over and area of 303 square miles, 246 (81 percent) of which lie in Rhode Island and 57 (19 percent) in Connecticut. In Rhode Island, the basin covers part of Washington County and most of Kent County.

The Pawcatuck River Basin contains a vast amount of wetland, which absorbs potentially damaging flood waters from rivers and streams.


- Updated: 12 June 2015