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EPA Providing More Than $130,000 to Rhode Island for Wetlands Projects

01/17/2020
Contact Information: 
John Senn (senn.john@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced more than $130,000 in grants to the state of Rhode Island for state-led programs and projects that will protect, manage and restore wetlands across the state. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) received $131,190 in grants, and EPA expects to award a second round of these grants in the same amount later this year.

The funds were provided through EPA's Wetland Program Development Grant program, which enables state, local and tribal governments to conduct a range of projects that promote research and pollution reduction efforts related to wetlands. In 2019, EPA awarded $1,323,000 in Wetland Program Development Grant funds across the six New England states.

"Wetlands provide a range of important benefits to ecosystems and local communities across New England, including critical habitat for various species of wildlife and natural buffers against flooding," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "These grants exemplify EPA's commitment to helping our state and local partners further their wetlands research and protection programs that will have lasting impacts for decades to come."

"Rhode Island is grateful for this funding and will put it to immediate good use," said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit. "The grant will allow for further monitoring of vital salt marshes along Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island's southern shores enhancing our understanding of how these areas are affected by climate change and leading to new strategies to promote marsh resiliency. The grant also allows DEM and partners to fill a data gap when it comes to mapping the vernal pools that provide critical wetland habitat for amphibians and other wildlife. The success of our work to protect and restore environmental quality depends on good science and strong partnerships — so these funds could not be more welcome."

RIDEM received grant funding for project to build capacity for protection of high ecological values wetlands via mapping and monitoring. RIDEM, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, will carry out a multi-year project that will build Rhode Island wetland program capacity by strengthening a reference condition gradient being developed for salt marshes through monitoring and developing a program for mapping vernal pools.

For more information on the Wetland Program Development Grants, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/wetland-program-development-grants-and-epa-wetlands-grant-coordinators.