TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — What happened to the trees?
It’s a question that has left many officials in Tiverton stumped.
Town officials said a section of town-owned trees was recently “lopped-off” along Route 77 (Main Road) ─ near the intersection of Jennifer Lane.
Town Council President Patricia Hilton said the trees were cut down earlier this month. She also said the town reached out to utility crews to confirm the trees were not taken down by mistake.
Town Administrator Jan Reitsma told Eyewitness News, “the investigation continues but has not yet produced results.”
Why these trees are important:
Rhode Island’s coastline is no stranger to erosion.
According to the Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council, 50% of the state’s shoreline is susceptible to erosion.
These trees were planted along a steep embankment that extends from the Sakonett River up to Route 77.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said vegetation, including trees, “holds soil in place, holds moisture and helps stormwater infiltrate, all key to preventing erosion and controlling sediment movement.”
Now that the trees are gone, erosion will become more likely in the area, Hilton said.
Anyone who believes they know who cut the trees down or has any information regarding the incident should contact the Tiverton Police Department at (401) 625-6722.