By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff
The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program has developed a draft report on the status of Narragansett Bay entitled “State of the Bay and its Watershed.” The report assesses 24 indicators throughout the bay and its watershed — some 60 percent of it is in Massachusetts — based on best available science and current research efforts.
Public comments on the draft report will be accepted until the close of business May 22. Comments should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) will revise and finalize the report and prepare a summary based on public feedback.
ecoRI News recently went through the report. Numerous factors, beyond climate change, sea-level rise and legacy contaminants, stress Rhode Island’s most significant natural resource. Here is a look at some of the others detailed in the NBEP’s draft report:
Population growth typically leads to increased nutrient loading, more impervious surfaces and habitat fragmentation. From 2000 to 2010, the population living within the Narragansett Bay watershed increased by nearly 8 percent, to 1.95 million people.
Quote: “It is well established that the way human society uses and protects the land within a watershed has critical implications for freshwater streams, estuarine waters, and associated habitats.”
Quote: “To protect the environmental quality of the watershed, effective land use management and regional planning practices must be implemented.”