EPA Funding for Local Groups Will Help Protect and Restore Southeastern New England Coastal Areas
Providence — Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency being awarded to 13 organizations working in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will help promote cleaner water and healthier coastal ecosystems in southeastern New England.
The awards, totaling $1.1 million for seven projects in Rhode Island, and $1.2 million for six projects in Massachusetts, are administered by Restore America's Estuaries (RAE), who partners with EPA to administer the program to advance the health of coastal ecosystems in southeastern New England.
"The bays, estuaries, and landscapes of Southeast coastal New England are the heart of our communities. Funding these projects and working with our partners to develop opportunities for collaboration and smart innovation continues to be a priority for EPA," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "This funding will help protect clean water and build healthy watersheds, and is vital to the ecological health and economic vitality of our coastal communities."
The funding is provided under EPA New England's 2019 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. The grant program builds and supports partnerships that tackle the region's most pressing environmental issues, such as nutrient pollution and coastal habitat loss.
For 2019, RAE selected grant recipients through a rigorous competitive process. The $2.3 million in federal funds for the region will be matched by an additional $800,000 in state and local dollars – providing, in total, more than $3.1 million to protect and restore Southeast New England's environment. The awardees include municipalities, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.
In Massachusetts, the 2019 SNEP Watershed Grants are providing $1.2 million to six local partnerships led by the following organizations:
- Association to Preserve Cape Cod: for the Three Bays Stormwater Project, supporting the design and installation of stormwater management practices to restore clean water to three estuaries in Barnstable. This grant continues funding provided to APCC by SNEP Watershed Grants in 2018 ($245,000).
- Buzzards Bay Coalition: for Promoting Salt Marsh Resilience, supporting research to better understand causes and trends of marsh loss on Buzzards Bay, as well as pilot-scale restoration activities to preserve threatened marshes ($223,533).
- Falmouth Rod & Gun Club: for Upper Childs River & Bog Restoration, an innovative project to restore natural wetlands and trout habitat in three abandoned cranberry bogs in Falmouth. This grant continues funding provided to FRGC by SNEP Watershed Grants in 2018 ($245,000).
- Mass. Maritime Academy: for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative, a new and important partnership between MMA and eight Buzzards Bay municipalities. Students will support communities in stormwater compliance, integrated with a new MMA curriculum ($176,581).
- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: for Permeable Reactive Barriers – research and testing of an innovative technology to reduce nitrogen pollution by intercepting groundwater as it flows into coastal waters ($298,598).
- Buzzards Bay Coalition: for "Prevent Nutrient Pollution from Composting," which will assist communities in reducing nutrient pollution to coastal waters from new composting facilities recently required by Massachusetts law ($27,695).
In Rhode Island, the 2019 SNEP Watershed Grants are providing $1.1 million to seven local partnerships led by the following organizations:
- Audubon Society of RI to create a regional center for stormwater innovation at Roger Williams Park in Providence ($177,534);
- City of Cranston to restore clean water at Spectacle Pond, with benefits to Roger Williams Park and the Pawtuxet River system ($187,500);
- Groundwork Rhode Island to install stormwater improvements in Providence and provide job training for urban youth ($198,891);
- City of Newport to implement an innovative approach to reducing urban stormwater by providing incentives to private property owners ($108,750);
- Northern RI Conservation District to establish a manure management program for small farmers in the Scituate Reservoir watershed, reducing pollution to Providence's drinking water supply ($113,976);
- Town of Warren to install innovative stormwater practices on waterfront streets to reduce pollution to Narragansett Bay ($25,000); and
- Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council to install stormwater practices along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway, reducing pollution to the Providence River and Narragansett Bay ($245,000).
EPA's Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program https://www.epa.gov/snecwrp