SNEP Watershed Grants
In 2020, SNEP Watershed Grants supported 11 important initiatives, including dam and culvert removal, shellfish restoration, and urban community resilience planning. The awards—$1.8 million in Rhode Island and Massachusetts—were selected through a rigorous competitive process, with the advice of an independent, interdisciplinary committee of coastal scientists and managers. RAE received more than 40 grant applications totaling more than $10 million in requests from which the 2020 grants were selected. With non-federal match, these SNEP grants will result in more than $2.3 million in new project funding for Southeast New England’s coastal ecosystems and communities in 2020. Read the combined Press Release here.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s grant announcement was held virtually via Zoom video conference. We were joined by Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Representatives David Cicilline, Bill Keating, Joe Kennedy III, and James Langevin as well as Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, RI to announce this year’s grantees.
Watch the 2020 SNEP Watershed Grants Announcement
Town of Warren | Market to Metacom: Adaptation and Economic Development | $91,875
The Town of Warren, RI, will work with local property owners to create a sustainable redevelopment plan for a highly vulnerable, flood-prone and economically distressed area. The project will foster climate resilience, economic development, and environmental equity.
City of Providence | Woonasquatucket River Greenway | $250,000
This funding will support ongoing work by the City of Providence, RI Dept. of Transportation, and non-profit organizations to develop greenspace and improve water quality along an urban river. The work will promote environmental justice, economic development and climate resilience in an underserved neighborhood.
RI Division of Marine Fisheries | Oyster Habitat Conservation and Restoration Planning | $150,000
This grant will support a partnership between RI Div. of Marine Fisheries and The Nature Conservancy to develop a statewide plan for oyster habitat restoration, including field work to assess current conditions and geographic modeling to prioritize restoration sites in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island’s coastal ponds.
Town of South Kingstown | Green Hill Pond Stormwater Plan | $100,000
With this funding, the Town of South Kingstown, RI, will undertake a watershed-scale assessment and stormwater management plan for a valuable coastal pond, working closely with local stakeholders. Once implemented, the plan will benefit clean water, shellfish resources and estuarine fish such as migratory river herring.
University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography | Mt. Hope Bay Water Quality Monitoring | $301,289
This grant will fund equipment, data analysis and management for real-time water quality monitoring in Mt. Hope Bay, Narragansett Bay’s largest sub-estuary. The project fills a critical gap in Narragansett Bay monitoring and dovetails with a 2018 SNEP Watershed Grant that funded similar equipment elsewhere in the Bay.
Pleasant Bay Alliance | Nitrogen Management in Pleasant Bay | $132,178
Pleasant Bay is the largest estuary on Cape Cod. Its waters are an exceptional public resource for fishing, shellfishing and recreation, but are threatened by pollution from septic systems and other sources of nitrogen. This grant will support a partnership among the Towns of Chatham, Orleans, Harwich and Brewster to implement innovative solutions to reduce pollution and ensure clean water for residents and visitors to Cape Cod. Read more about this project from EPA’s SNEP newsletter.
Buzzards Bay Coalition | Multi-Community Collaboration to Reduce Nitrogen in Upper Buzzards Bay | $118,275
This grant continues funding to the Buzzards Bay Coalition to lead a large-scale partnership among the Towns of Wareham, Bourne, Plymouth, and Marion, MA, and the Mass. Maritime Academy, to complete engineering and other studies aimed at expanding the capacity and service area of the Wareham wastewater treatment plant. When implemented, this project will have an enormous positive impact on clean water for Buzzards Bay.
Friends of Bass River | Upper Bass River Watershed Restoration | $253,779
With this award, a local watershed organization will complete engineering and permitting to reconnect historic cranberry bog wetlands with the riparian system of Cape Cod’s largest river by replacing failed road crossings in Yarmouth, MA. The project will improve both freshwater and estuarine habitat through improved water quality and fish passage restoration.
Mt. Holyoke College | Bioreactors for Nitrogen Removal in Coastal Cranberry Farms | $232,352
This project will implement and study the effectiveness of an innovative, low-tech method for reducing nitrogen pollution to coastal waters from cranberry farming operations with installations in Barnstable, MA, and could provide a model for restoring water quality in other degraded areas.
Center for Coastal Studies | Ecosystem Research Conference for Pleasant Bay | $8,984
This grant will support a conference to inform stakeholders about the state of the science on Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod’s largest estuary. The project dovetails with a prior SNEP Watershed Grant that supports the Pleasant Bay Alliance, a partnership among the municipalities of Orleans, Chatham, Harwich and Brewster, MA to restore the estuary.
Mass. Audubon Society | Protecting Salt Marshes | $150,000
This grant will fund a variety of science and restoration activities at coastal sanctuaries on Buzzards Bay in Wareham and Dartmouth, MA. The project will improve our understanding of the impacts of sea level rise on salt marshes; implement innovative restoration techniques to address such impacts; and monitor the results of the work.