2011-03-31 / News

Bay named one of nation’s Great Waters

Narragansett Bay has been named one of America’s Great Waters, recognizing its ecological, economic and cultural importance to the region. The announcement last week by America’s Great Waters Coalition adds Narragansett Bay and its connected rivers and coastal waters to 10 original Great Waters established in 2010.

The designation is part of a nationwide effort to build support for the nation’s most valuable and threatened waterways through regional ecosystembased environmental management, coordination and collaboration across state lines and traditional boundaries.

Narragansett Bay and the coastal waters of Southern New England now bridge a gap between Long Island Sound and the Gulf of Maine, which already have Great Waters Designation.

Save The Bay applied for this designation in 2010. The original Great Waters include the Great Lakes, Coastal Louisiana, the Everglades, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, the Gulf of Maine, Lake Champlain, the Mississippi River, Puget Sound and San Francisco Bay.

Along with Narragansett Bay, also added were Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary, the Colorado River, the Delaware River Basin, Galveston Bay, the Missouri River, the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary, the Ohio River Basin and the Rio Grande.

“Narragansett Bay deserves this distinction,” said Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone. “More than ever, we need to work closely with our neighboring states and the federal government to see the big picture. We are part of a unique Southern New England ecosystem, and it makes good economic and practical sense to coordinate and collaborate in its management.”

“The addition of Narragansett Bay to the Great Waters Coalition is a strong and significant move, as it solidifies the New England states with their connected Great Waters,” Peter Alexander said, the director of the Northeast Great Waters Coalition. “Rhode Island can now align its plans with its neighbors and build lasting support for clean water infrastructure and habitat restoration. In this budget climate, we need to work harder to underscore the critical needs and the benefits of investment in our waterways.”

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