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Newton Swamp Management Area
Location and Access
Newton Swamp Management Area is located in the Town of Westerly, R. I.
along the Westerly Bradford Road (Route 91) approximately 0.7 miles
west of the intersection of Dunns Corner Road. Route 91 passes through
the management area with two-thirds of the area north of this road and
one third south of the road. Access to the area is from Route 91;
there is no official parking area.
Newton Swamp Management Area is comprised of 111 acres of shrub bog
and marsh habitat. It is part of the much larger Aguntaug (Chapman)
Swamp which is the largest contiguous freshwater wetland complex in
the state of Rhode Island. This wetland complex as a whole is
comprised of many different wetland types including bog, fen, shallow
marsh, red maple an Atlantic white cedar swamp. McGowan Brook drains
through the management area flowing north to the Pawcatuck River. The
entire management area is wetland comprised of approximately 20% (22
acres) as shallow open water and 80% (89 acres) as dense shrub bog of
leatherleaf, sweet pepperbush and azalea.
Newton Swamp is used primarily by wetland wildlife, particularly
waterfowl (ducks) and other wetland birds. The area is managed to
produce wood ducks and several nest boxes are maintained by DEM Fish
and Wildlife. In the fall, many species of duck can be seen in the
area including wood duck, black duck, mallard, ringneck duck as well
as an occasional Canada goose. Recently, beaver (Castor canadensis)
have made their presence known in the rivers and streams in this area
and several other species of furbearing mammals (mink, muskrat, and
river otter) are known to inhabit the Newton Swamp.