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EPA and Partners Announce $4.5 Million in Grants for Clean Water and Healthy Coasts in Southeast New England

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with Restore America's Estuaries (RAE), has announced $4.5 million in new funding for organizations working to restore clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems to Southeast New England.

The funding is provided under the 2018 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants, a collaboration between EPA New England (Region 1) and RAE. The goal of the grant program is to build and support partnerships to tackle the region's most pressing environmental issues, such as nutrient pollution and coastal habitat loss.

"Protecting iconic waters like bays and estuaries in Southern New England is a priority for EPA, and these projects will help further that goal," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "This funding will help protect clean water and establish innovative, watershed-based models that are vital to the ecological resiliency and economic vitality of our coastal communities."

RAE selected 14 grant recipients through a rigorous competitive process. The awardees include municipalities, non-profit organizations, state agencies, universities and regional planning organizations, each of which is leading an innovative, high-impact project of regional importance. The $4.5 million in federal funds will be matched by an additional $1.8 million in state and local dollars – providing altogether more than $6.3 million in funds to protect and restore Southeast New England's environment.

In Rhode Island, 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are funding: 

  • Town of Bristol to restore Silver Creek on Bristol Harbor ($300,000);
  • 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);
  • 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); and
  • University of Rhode Island for a scientific study of groundwater pollution to Narragansett Bay and the South Shore salt ponds ($475,000).

In Massachusetts, 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are funding: 

  • Association to Preserve Cape Cod to restore water quality in the Three Bays area of Barnstable ($300,000);
  • Buzzards Bay Coalition for a multi-community collaboration to reduce nitrogen pollution to Upper Buzzards Bay ($419,000);
  • Cape Cod Commission to collect and manage water resources information on a regional basis, to improve clean water management Cape-wide ($400,000);
  • Falmouth Rod & Gun Club for an innovative project to restore a former cranberry bog back to a natural wetland and native fish run habitat with public access ($450,000);
  • Martha's Vineyard Commission to build and test an innovative system to reduce nitrogen pollution in groundwater flowing into Lagoon Pond on Martha's Vineyard ($250,000); and
  • Pleasant Bay Alliance to restore water quality in Cape Cod's largest estuary ($250,000).

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are also funding two interstate projects: 

  • 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); and
  • Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District to assist municipalities and others in improving water quality protection and restoration in the Taunton River watershed ($100,000).

Clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems are essential to Southeast New England's environment, economy and quality of life. By funding locally based partnerships that are working to reduce pollution and restore coastal habitats, the SNEP Watershed Grants program is helping to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Southeast New England communities.

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