U.S. Senator Jack Reed yesterday joined with officials from Westerly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to announce over $1 million to help dredge Winnapaug Pond and revitalize its ecosystem.
The NRCS project will help restore habitat and remove approximately 70,600 cubic yards of sediment that was deposited in Winnapaug Pond by Superstorm Sandy.
The federal funds, which total $938,430, include $780,000 in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) funding to support dredging and restoration efforts at Winnapaug Pond, as well as about $158,000 in technical assistance. The EWP funding requires a 25% match with non-federal dollars, so the total project cost is projected to be $1,042,700.00.
“Winnapaug Pond is a natural treasure and an important ecosystem. This is another positive step toward recovery from Sandy while preparing for future storms and sea-level rise,” said Reed. “Thanks to lot of hard work and coordination at the federal, state, and local levels, and with non-profit partners, we have an opportunity to cleanup, restore, and protect Winnapaug Pond and help make it more resilient. This effort is vital to Westerly’s recovery and maintaining a healthy environment and economy, one that enhances the state’s ability to attract visitors and tourists to our shores.”
Press Release, May 20, 2014