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.