SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants

2023 Grants

With help from Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressmen Seth Magaziner and Bill Keating, EPA Region 1 Administrator David Cash, and various local and state officials, RAE and EPA announced the 2023 SNEP Watershed Implementation Grant awardees on October 6th and November 2nd in Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA, respectively.

Through our partnership with EPA Region 1, SWIG awarded more than $4.2 million in funding to 15 organizations, municipalities, and state agencies working to restore and conserve coastal environments in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

For reference, the SWIG23 RFP can be accessed here.

Senator Jack Reed at a Podium in front of a Harbor.
Senator Jack Reed addresses the crowd at our Rhode Island SNEP awards announcement in Providence, RI. Photo Courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

Rhode Island Grants

City of Woonsocket – Truman Drive Green Infrastructure Parkway Construction – $500,000

To conduct a road diet and transform an underutilized public road into a new, linear park providing a number of co-benefits to the City by removing 1.5 travel lanes and converting that unused paved surface into a linear, green infrastructure park, complete with native species plantings and human-scale lighting that complements the existing, adjacent Blackstone River Bikeway.

Audubon Society of Rhode Island – Stormwater Master Plan, Education and Outreach Planning in the Roger Williams Park Zoo – $197,348

This project will mitigate cyanobacteria blooms, promote education and outreach, and establish a comprehensive stormwater management approach for the Roger Williams Park Zoo. A Stormwater Master Plan will identify, prioritize and propose nutrient reduction strategies to reduce blooms in the RWP Zoo wetland, and the downstream ponds of RWP. Outreach and educational materials will be developed with zoo staff and used in youth programs and signage.

Town of Warren, RI – Jamiel’s Park Shoreline Restoration Project – $400,000

This project will complete the construction of a living shoreline and restoration of salt marsh along Belcher Cove of the Palmer River and conduct on-site capping and stabilization of contaminated soil and solid waste generated from the construction. This project will address challenges to the site and Belcher Cove that are being exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise that are causing destruction of the salt marsh and erosion of the edge of this landfill.

City of Providence, RI – Waterfront Access & Green Infrastructure at Public Street for the S. Providence Green Justice Zone – $481,080

The project will create meaningful waterfront access and green stormwater infrastructure in South Providence. S. Providence, a Justice40 neighborhood, is cut off from the Providence River by I-95 and the port. It has among the lowest incomes and highest childhood asthma rates in RI.

Rhode Island Chapter of Trout Unlimited – Removal of the Sweet Pond Dam to Restore Aquatic Organism Passage and Enhance Water Quality – $129,300

In partnership with Rhode Island Water Resources Board will remove the remnants of a failed dam within the Big River Management Area (BRMA) to restore fish passage to 1.5 miles of native brook trout habitat. The project will include barrier removal design, permitting, structure removal, and restoration plantings. Previously collected data has documented the thermal benefits from removal of the structure and the presence of brook trout. Additionally, the project’s thermal benefits will transition 1.5 miles downstream of the dam to be within preferred thermal temperatures for brook trout.

Massachusetts Grants

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation – Piloting an “embankment filter” as a stormwater treatment practice for steep slopes – $100,000

This project will consist of pilot design and installation of an “embankment filter,” a filtering stormwater control measure that can be installed on slopes that are typically considered too constrained for conventional stormwater controls. The project will develop implementation documents including standard details, materials and construction specifications, and methods for estimating pollutant reduction using the EPA BMP Performance Curves. These will be shared with the greater New England stormwater community so this measure can be more readily incorporated in other locations.

Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Inc. – Windswept Bog Wetland Restoration – $255,000

Windswept Bog is a former organic cranberry farm on the northeast end of Nantucket Island. The farm is privately owned by NCF, a non-profit dedicated to conservation and stewardship of Nantucket’s open lands. The bogs are central to 231 acres of protected open space including freshwater wetlands, hardwood forests, and upland grasslands. The project will restore 40 acres of former cranberry bog to self-sustaining natural wetlands, and integrate the restored wetlands into the broader landscape and watershed. Partners have been coordinating since 2019 to develop and permit the restoration design.

Pocasset Water Quality Coalition (PWQC)  – Pocasset Water Quality Coalition Rain Garden and Watershed Educational Project  – $37,665

This proposal will educate property owners to the causes and effects of stormwater runoff in Hen Cove and Wings Neck Inlet and engage our community in action both at the community level with rain gardens on town property and at the residential level with green infrastructure to restore the health of Hen Cove, Wings Neck Inlet, and other nearby bays for safe swimming and boating and return the eel grass and shellfish beds to their original levels, the shared goals of the Pocasset Water Quality Coalition. Through community volunteer events and interactive workshops, this proposal shifts the work of PWQC from policy into infrastructure and permanent, sustainable action.

Buzzards Bay Coalition – Remediating Stormwater Pollution and Building Climate Resilience on the Kempton Corridor – $499,730

This project represents a unique opportunity to invest in the restoration of Buzzards Bay’s most negatively impacted coastal stream flowing through the center of its most densely-developed, and disadvantaged communities. It will improve water quality and support climate change adaptation by implementing a distributed network of Green Infrastructure (GI) BMPs to maximize stormwater capture, promote groundwater recharge, and build system resilience. It also seeks to maximize the social, environmental, and health related co-benefits of GI by removing unnecessary impervious cover and restoring native plants and trees to improve local air quality, increase access to green space, and mitigate urban heat island effects.

Massachusetts Audubon Society, Inc. – Broad Meadow Brook Restoration: Achieving Ecological Outcomes in an Urban Headwaters – $217,800

Restoration of Broad Meadow Brook will improve flood storage, floodplain reconnection, wetland habitat, and water quality, as well as offer new and enhanced recreational and educational opportunities for nearby Environmental Justice communities. This project increases local capacity for watershed solutions by partnering with the City of Worcester and others to demonstrate restoration methods in a highly urbanized environment. These methods will be widely shared, building local buy-in by demonstrating approaches that can be used upstream to reduce flooding expected to worsen in EJ communities due to climate change.

Town of West Bridgewater – Preserving Fish Migration: War Memorial Park Nature-Like Fishway Revision – $284,500

The War Memorial Park Dam/Fishway, owned by the Town of West Bridgewater and located along the Town River, is part of the migratory pathway for sea run fish into Lake Nippenicket, one of the largest natural lakes in eastern MA, and Hockomock Swamp, the largest vegetated freshwater wetland system in MA. The existing Denil fish ladder is outdated and ineffective and the fish ladder and dam are in poor condition and at risk of failure, threatening fish migration and posing a flood risk to downstream areas. This project will support design and permitting of a Nature-Like Fishway (NLF) to replace the existing fish ladder and dam.

Interstate Projects

Trustees of Clark University – Collaboratively Restoring the Hardest Working River in America – $100,000

Advance ecological restoration & improve community resilience through capacity building and technical assistance with 4 tasks:

  1. Create future dam removal practitioners by piloting a training on ecological restoration & aquatic connectivity.
  2. Support fish passage around the lower 4 dams on the river, highlighting indigenous voices as the river’s original & ongoing stewards, by facilitating a technical working group and hosting public events.
  3. Identify priority restoration projects in a habitat-rich subwatershed through creation of a working group in the Mumford River.
  4. Enhance local relationships through continuation of monthly partnership meetings & provide technical support as needed, with a focus on enhancing equity & regional learning.