Stormwater pollution is a major issue for the health of the Narragansett Bay watershed. Municipalities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are working, many with assistance from nonprofits and community groups, to install stormwater treatment systems to help protect and restore water quality. The Estuary Program and NEIWPCC have funded the following stormwater projects:
- The City of Cranston is building stormwater infiltration projects in the Stillhouse Cove portion of the Providence River. Stillhouse Cove experiences severe algal blooms during the summer due to excess nutrients. The project will also include planning assistance, public outreach, and education through Cranston’s partners: Save The Bay and the Edgewood Waterfront Preservation Association.
- The City of East Providence is building a stormwater mitigation project at Sabin Point Park on the Providence River to help address elevated bacterial levels. Sabin Point Park is a popular urban park yet swimming has not been allowed in decades. The City received funding through the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to complete the design for the stormwater project. The City will partner with Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Health staff to monitor nutrient and bacteria levels to assess the effectiveness of the project. In addition, Save The Bay will provide outreach to the surrounding communities regarding controls to stormwater runoff.
- The City of Warwick will install a series of bioretention basins and vegetated swales within the medians of Suburban Parkway to help improve water quality in the vicinity of Oakland Beach and City Park Beach. The total project will be approximately 2,000 feet long, on City‐owned property, and it will help reduce the amount of contaminants entering Greenwich Bay. The City hired a design group to design the project using Community Development Block Grant funding. See the press coverage.
- The Town of West Warwick aims to improve water quality in the Hardig Brook watershed by preparing up to five best management practice (BMP) designs to budget-level design phase, selecting a BMP for construction, and measuring the water quality benefits. West Warwick is also working hard to develop and implement a stormwater utility for the town.
- North Kingstown is building a rain garden at the North Kingstown Free Library to treat stormwater before it enters Academy Cove, and ultimately Wickford Harbor. The Harbor is impaired by a lack of dissolved oxygen that threatens aquatic life. The project includes the rain garden, a pervious path, educational signage, and brochures. The project will be accomplished using volunteers and staff from the Town of North Kingstown. See article in the North Kingstown Patch.