Coastal Projects Get $5M Boost

EPA joined state and local dignitaries yesterday to announce $5 million in federal funding to continue efforts of the Southeast New England Program for Coastal Watershed Restoration.

The program brings together innovation and partnerships to apply an ecosystem approach to protecting and restoring the coastal watersheds of southeast New England from Westerly, R.I. to Chatham, Mass., including Narragansett Bay and all other Rhode Island coastal waters, Buzzards Bay, and southern Cape Cod.

Senator Jack Reed said: “Restoration of our wetlands and freshwater rivers and streams is critical to the health of our coastal ecosystem and the resiliency of the Bay. Our waters connect and sustain us and collaboration is key to protecting our watershed.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse added: “This funding will bring together some of the most skilled scientists in the region with environmental groups and other important partners, and that collaboration will make everyone involved more effective.”

Specific funding highlights include:

  • $1 million to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program and $1 million to the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program for priority projects in these watersheds;
  • approximately $1.5 million through EPA’s Healthy Communities Grant Program funding nine projects;
  • approximately $1.5 million in contracts for work that contributes directly to protection of coastal water quality and provides better understanding of future efforts and practical solutions.

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