$2.3 million in funding for clean water in Rhode Island

Left to right: Thomas Ardito, SNEP Director | Diane M. Williamson, Director of Community Development, Town of Bristol, R.I. |
Senator Jack Reed | Janet Coit, Director, | R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management | Steven Contente, Town Administrator, Town of Bristol, R.I.

Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are pleased to announce the 2018 Rhode Island recipients of the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants.

Launched in early 2018, SNEP grants target water pollution, habitat degradation, and other high-priority environmental issues in the region in order to foster sustainable coastal and watershed communities. Grants are awarded in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Rhode Island grantees were announced by state, federal and local leaders. Of 14 projects funded in Southeast New England, seven are in Rhode Island, including a “green and complete streets” project in Pawtucket; new research into groundwater pollution; a new method for assessing coastal water quality; and several watershed restoration projects.

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island was a featured speaker at the event. “This federal funding will go a long way toward helping us continue the great progress we’ve made in cleaning up our estuaries and preserving our state’s natural beauty,” he said. “Pollution does not respect state lines, and we must work together to confront the environmental challenges we face across Southeast New England.”

SNEP Watershed Grants are the product of a partnership between RAE and EPA New England. A goal of this program is to support innovative projects and critical partnerships to tackle Southeast New England’s most pressing environmental concerns.

RAE president Jeff Benoit commented, “We are excited to see communities and organizations working together to improve water quality and coastal habitat throughout Southeast New England. This is important not only economically, but also for the quality of life in the region.”

Others in attendance included Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. David Cicilline, EPA Region 1 Administrator Alexandra Dunn, R.I. Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien.

Massachusetts grants will be announced in the coming weeks. To learn more about SNEP, please visit our website.

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants (Rhode Island)

  • Town of Bristol to restore Silver Creek on Bristol Harbor ($300,000)
  • City of Pawtucket to build a “green and complete street” – integrating clean water and transportation improvements – adjacent to the new rail station ($376,000)
  • RIDEM to upgrade environmental monitoring equipment in Narragansett Bay ($300,000)
  • Save The Bay to restore clean water in Hundred Acre Cove in Upper Narragansett Bay ($132,000)
  • University of Rhode Island for a scientific study of groundwater pollution to Narragansett Bay and the South Shore salt ponds ($475,000)
  • R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to work with the State of Connecticut on restoring the Pawcatuck River Estuary and Little Narragansett Bay ($450,000); 
  • New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission to develop a new method of assessing coastal water quality, providing an important new tool for state and local clean water restoration efforts ($250,000)