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This week we’ll talk about one way to support outdoor sport in Rhode Island. For those of you who have not yet voted, consider voting “yes” to Bond Issue #3 – called The Green Bond.
According to the RI DEM, the health of our lands, waters, and communities is central to our environment and supports our way of life in Rhode Island. The value of Rhode Island’s network of green spaces, outdoor recreational areas, and waterways goes beyond beautiful places and recreational opportunities for public enjoyment. This network is important to the state’s economy and ability to attract people and businesses. This proposed bond invests in open space, outdoor recreation, land revitalization, green energy, climate resilience, forest, habitat, wildlife conservation, water quality, and new facilities at Roger Williams Park and Zoo.
MUNICIPAL RESILIENCE PROGRAM $16 MILLION administered by RI Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) to help local communities restore and improve resiliency of vulnerable coastal habitats, river and stream floodplains, and infrastructure. This investment will fund matching grants up to 75% to directly support Rhode Island’s cities and towns to identify top hazards, improve community resiliency, and strengthen public safety in the face of increased flooding and more frequent and intense storm events driven by climate change. The Municipal Resilience Program has provided action grants to implement 35 priority projects across 27 participating communities to date. This funding will unlock additional resources for those communities and allow all 39 Rhode Island municipalities to participate in the program over the next two years.
SMALL BUSINESS ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM $5 MILLION administered by RIIB to help small businesses “green” their operations by providing grants and zero or below market rate loans for implementation of clean energy projects. The program will save small businesses money, increase energy efficiency, and reduce their carbon footprint.
NARRAGANSETT BAY AND WATERSHED RESTORATION $3 MILLION to restore and protect water quality, aquatic habitats and the environmental sustainability of Narragansett Bay and the state’s watersheds. Distributed as matching grants, this infusion will advance work toward clean and safe waters for drinking water, shellfishing, recreation and other valued uses. The investment will support jobs and a variety of projects including improved stormwater management, green infrastructure, control of aquatic invasives, in-lake nutrient management actions and riparian buffer and aquatic habitat restoration
ROGER WILLIAMS PARK AND ZOO $12 MILLION for the construction of a state- of-the-art-carbon-neutral education center and event pavilion. These projects will help the Zoo meet the technology demands of the modern-day classroom, increase student capacity, expand its education programs for Rhode Island schools, and establish a large venue with seating capacity for lectures, assemblies, and artistic performances. Both projects will improve access and further enhance the Zoo’s positive economic impact on Roger Williams Park, the city of Providence, and all of Rhode Island.
FOREST AND HABITAT RESTORATION $3 MILLION for forest health management and wildlife habitat projects at state management areas. Rhode Island’s forests and trees may seem like a green backdrop to our landscape, but they are in fact hard at work generating a wide range of services and values. Forests are a place where humans and native wildlife can live and thrive by providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans. They also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion, purify our air, clean our water, and mitigate climate change.
BROWNFIELDS $4 MILLION in matching grants to clean up former industrial sites or “brownfields” so they may revitalize our neighborhoods, be returned to tax rolls, and create jobs. The State has already invested more than $14 million for 62 projects in 15 communities across Rhode Island through the Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Half of State funding has developed projects in Environmental Justice areas. This money has leveraged more than $948 million in other investments, supported thousands of jobs, and cleaned up over 200 acres of contaminated brownfields. These projects have helped build new schools, businesses, affordable housing, and recreationalspace on formerly vacant properties throughout the state.
OPEN SPACE $5 MILLION investment to protect open space to enhance our communities. Provides $3 million for the State Land Conservation program used to acquire and conserve lands of statewide interest and significance. Also includes $2 million in matching grants to municipalities, land trusts, andnon-profit conservation land organizations to preserve valuable open space throughout the state. Protecting open space is a key to building a vibrant economy and quality of place.
LOCAL RECREATION $2 MILLION in matching grants to create new and improve existing community parks and recreation facilities. Studies show access to green space improves health, promotes stronger social ties, and enhances neighborhood satisfaction and pride. Previous grant rounds received requeststotaling twice the available funds. There have been nearly 550 grant-funded projects totaling more than $80 million invested in improvements in all 39 Rhode Island communities since the inception of DEM’s Community Recreation Grant program in 1988. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoorrecreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 local jobs.
EPA Support for Local Groups Will Help Protect and Restore Rhode Island’s Environment
The Southeast New England Program (SNEP) is a regional initiative, funded by Congress and managed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, working to preserve and restore coastal waters by providing grants and technical assistance to communities, local organizations and partnerships in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Friday, Nov. 4th, SNEP is announcing $1.9 million in grants for 11 high-priority projects throughout Southeast New England; Rhode Island communities will be beneficiaries of six of the grants, totaling $1.2 million. SNEP is also providing technical assistance to nine communities, four of which are in Rhode Island, that will receive free support to advance their stormwater management and climate resilience priorities.
The $1.9 million in SWIG grants will be matched by about $1 million in non-federal funds secured by the SNEP grantees, resulting in nearly $3 million in new funding for local projects to improve the coastal environment of Southeast New England.
2022 SNEP Grant Recipients
The recipients of the 2022 SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants were selected through a competitive process from among $6 million in requests. The 11 projects to be funded are:
Rhode Island Grants
Town of Glocester, RI| Chepachet Village Wastewater Improvements | $250,000
Audubon Society of Rhode Island | Providence Stormwater Innovation Center | $183,948
Southern Rhode Island Conservation District| Westerly’s Resilient Riverfront Renewal | $200,000
Rhode Island Chapter of Trout Unlimited| Capwell Mill Pond Dam Removal Study and Design| $124,000
Community MusicWorks | Community MusicWorks Center Water Retention Parklet| $150,000
Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC)| Weir Creek Tidal Restoration| $138,616
Center for Coastal Studies| Removal of Ghost Fishing Gear from Cuttyhunk Shorelines | $55,206
City of Brockton | Nature-Based Flood Resilience for Urban Economic Redevelopment in the Trout Brook Riparian Corridor| $150,000
Town of Nantucket | Sesachacha Pond Ecological Enhancement and Resilience Strategies | $158,456
Groundwork Southcoast | Developing Fall River Resilience: Cook Pond Project| $215,569
New England Water Pollution Control Comm. | Community-Based Habitat Restoration: Water Chestnut Management in Blackstone & Ten Mile Watersheds | $262,077
2022 SNEP Community Assistance Recipients
The 2022 SNEP Network Community Assistance Projects were selected through a competitive process. Nine projects were selected to receive free technical assistance from the SNEP Network. The SNEP Network is managed by the New England Environmental Finance Center that provides on-the-ground local technical assistance and offers free engineering consultant support to advance projects. This year’s community assistance projects are:
Rhode Island Assistance
Town of North Kingstown, RI | Participation in training to develop conceptual designs for stormwater retrofits and green infrastructure solutions
Middletown, RI | Development of a 5-year climate resilience capital improvement plan; recommendations on sustainable funding and financing mechanisms; support in enhancing Climate Leadership Collaboration on Aquidneck Island in close partnership with the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank and the Regional Resilience Coordinator
Burrillville Land Trust | Development of a training on priority topics in land use planning, watershed protection, and ecosystem services for communities in the Blackstone Watershed
South Kingstown, RI | Development of a buffer restoration plan that includes a detailed planning plan, conceptual designs for managing sheet flow surface runoff, and order of magnitude costs estimates to implement the buffer restoration plan.
Buzzards Bay Coalition | GIS analysis for developing spatial hydrologic response units (HRU), a combination of land use type, soil infiltration capacity, and land cover slope, to characterize the watershed conditions
Groundwork Southcoast with New Bedford, MA | Participation in training to develop conceptual designs for stormwater retrofits and green infrastructure solutions
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Town of Mashpee | Analysis of baseline monitoring data and assistance with community engagement, communications, and partnership building; finalization of watershed-based plan; technical support for grant applications to leverage Town match
Town of Marion, MA | Participation in training to develop conceptual designs for stormwater retrofits and green infrastructure solutions
Town of Shrewsbury, MA | Review and revision of current rules and regulations to integrate new low impact design and green infrastructure requirements; participation in training to develop conceptual designs for stormwater retrofits and green infrastructure solutions
For more on EPA’s Southeast New England Program, see www.epa.gov/snep
For more about SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants, see www.snepgrants.org
For more on the SNEP Network, see www.snepnetwork.org
The new FishLine app and SeafoodRI.com list more than 40 restaurants, seafood markets, grocers, and direct sellers that offer local seafood, profiles about local species and harvesters, and tips for how to cook and enjoy it. Direct sellers and other seafood retailers can use the app to post real-time updates on landings and sales opportunities, helping consumers geo-locate the opportunities to purchase and enjoy RI seafood closest to where they are located. Simply go to SeafoodRI.com and click on the RI Seafood Finder to get started or download the FishLine app from the Apple or Androidapp store.
Both tools are initiatives of the RI Seafood Marketing Collaborative and industry partners to promote and market fresh Rhode Island seafood.
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