The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) yesterday announced the award of $6.8 million in matching grants for 33 projects, spread across the state, to mitigate water pollution from stormwater and nonpoint sources, reduce flooding, and strengthen Rhode Island’s climate resilience.
The grants are made possible through funding from the Narragansett Bay and Watershed Restoration Bond Fund and the federal Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution program.
“Climate change is real, and is poised to uniquely affect Rhode Island as the Ocean State,” Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. “We need to take action to safeguard our natural resources and our communities. These grants help prepare cities and towns to deal with our changing climate, while creating jobs for Rhode Islanders in engineering, construction and landscaping.”
According to RIDEM, $2.69 million was awarded for 11 flood mitigation and prevention projects to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flooding in coastal or inland areas and enhance natural ecosystem functions.
The grants support solutions to flooding problems using environmentally-beneficial techniques; for example, projects that resolve road and property flooding through culvert reconstruction will result in improved stream passage and habitat of fish and wildlife.
Projects in Portsmouth and Middletown will target actions that abate road flooding while also restoring and better protecting valuable coastal habitats including salt marsh.