Welcome to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program


What's New Around the Watershed?

2015 Watershed Counts report available

The 5th annual Watershed Counts report focuses on the land and water resources of the bi-state Narragansett Bay watershed, and highlights the work being done to protect and restore these critical resources. This year’s report focuses on urban waters throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed, and features local efforts to improve water quality, increase access to the urban waters for fishing and kayaking, and reduce environmental threats to lives and infrastructure.

Watershed Counts is a coalition of over 60 non-profit entities, government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations who work together to report regularly on the land and water resources of the Narragansett Bay watershed. It is facilitated by the URI Coastal Institute and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.

The 2015 Watershed Counts report, executive summary, and press release can be found here: http://www.watershedcounts.org/report2015.html

WC postcard

Media coverage of the 2015 Watershed Counts report:

Providence Journal: http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20151102/NEWS/151109907
WPRI: http://wpri.com/2015/11/02/report-narragansett-bays-health-improving/
Fall River Herald and the Taunton Gazette: http://www.ecori.org/pollution-contamination/2015/11/4/urban-runoff-fouls-swimming-and-fishing-opportunities

Judith Swift, director of the Coastal Institute at URI, introduces Watershed Counts partners Nicole Rohr, assistant director of the Coastal Institute; Jonathan Stone, executive director of Save The Bay; Tom Borden, program director of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program; and Christine Sullivan, interim executive director of The Pawtucket Foundation.


We are pleased to announce that more than $65,000 in grants will be going to eight projects aimed at protecting and restoring water quality in the Narragansett Bay watershed. "The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program is very pleased to lend its support to help protect and restore the water quality in Narragansett Bay,” said Judith Swift, chair of the Estuary Program’s Management Committee. “It takes many partners, including municipalities and nonprofit organizations throughout the Narragansett Bay watershed, in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, to continue to advance the critical mission of watershed restoration and protection.” The funded projects this year are summarized below:

Clean Ocean Access is increasing public access to the shoreline of Aquidneck Island to promote, preserve, and ensure recreational uses along the coastline, such as for fishing, boating, swimming, surfing, and walking.

Hopedale, Massachusetts is working to solve water quality issues in Hopedale Pond that have closed Hopedale Beach for swimming the past several years. The goal is to design a green infrastructure stormwater project and identify any illicit dischargers into the system.

North Kingstown, Rhode Island will build a rain garden at the North Kingstown Free Library to treat stormwater before it enters Academy Cove, and ultimately Wickford Harbor. The project includes the rain garden, a pervious path, educational signage, and brochures.

Save The Bay was awarded funding for two projects. The first is a public education and awareness project and they will develop content for Bay Friendly Living, a publication for residents and businesses on Aquidneck Island. The second project involves a partnership with Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council to have volunteers and interns conduct site visits to the 221 State-designated shoreline rights-of-way. The goal is to document the sites and current conditions to examine whether public access needs to be restored or improved.

Pawtuxet River Authority was also awarded funding for two projects. The first is their fish passage project which is designed to build upon the 2011 Pawtuxet Falls dam removal and assess whether fish passage can be created to encourage spawning in Cranberry Pond in Warwick and Blackamore Pond in Cranston. The second grant allows for the purchase of a utility trailer to transport equipment for river clean-ups and debris removals at recreation sites along the Pawtuxet River.

Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council will develop an educational program with a focus on stormwater discharges to restore the urban sections of the Woonasquatucket River and Narragansett Bay. The project will include a public school curriculum, Trout in the Classroom, for 4th graders, public art with North Providence High School designing storm drain paintings and murals, and youth leadership development for high school students in science education at the Met School in Providence.

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program’s grant program was guided by a Grant Subcommittee made up of representatives from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Water Resources, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, Rhode Island Department of Administration’s Division of Planning, NEIWPCC (our host entity), and EPA.

See press release.

The 28th Issue of the Narragansett Bay Journal is Now Available!

The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program has released a special edition of the Narragansett Bay Journal, featuring a series of articles on Salt Marshes, one of the Bay’s most precious ecosystems.  The articles summarize scientific findings that were presented at an April 2014 conference at Save The Bay called “The Effects of Sea Level Rise to Rhode Island’s Salt Marshes.”  This issue also spotlights recent NBEP accomplishments including new Management Committee members, a new federal grant program focused on nutrient pollution, the 2014 Watershed Counts Report, and the development of the Science Advisory Committee. 

Download the newest edition of the Narragansett Bay Journal to stay informed on all issues concerning Narragansett Bay.  To sign up for updates regarding the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, email us at info@nbep.org!


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