2012-05-03 / News

R.I. coasts get $1.9 million

In an effort to help protect Rhode Island’s coastal habitats and estuarine ecosystems, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed recently announced more than $1.9 million in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for two Ocean State conservation programs.

The state Coastal Resources Management Council will receive $1.35 million to help administer Rhode Island’s Coastal Management Program, which works to preserve Rhode Island’s coastal areas. The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will receive $587,190 to strengthen estuarine conservation, research and education.

“I am pleased to have helped secure this federal funding to preserve and restore the Ocean State’s waterways,” said Reed. “I commend the staff of the Coastal Resources Management Council, the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for their commitment to conserving our coastal habitats and natural resources for future generations. This federal funding will help protect the environment and bolster Rhode Island’s economy.”

Reed has championed legislation, funding and other initiatives to help preserve and protect the Narragansett Bay watershed.

The Coastal Resources Management Council works to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible restore, coastal areas of the state. This funding will provide ongoing support of coastal zone management permitting, planning, enforcement, federal consistency review and coordination, public outreach and education, and public rights-of-way designation.

Located in the heart of Narragansett Bay and managed by the state Department of Environmental Management, the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve protects approximately 4,400 acres of land and water. Through recreation, education, volunteer programs and partnerships with groups such as the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, the Reserve helps educate the public about Narragansett Bay’s natural resources, the changing nature of estuaries in the face of global climate change, and environmental stewardship practices.

The Narragansett Bay Research Reserve is one of 27 reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, which protects more than 1 million acres of estuarine waters and adjacent upland habitats.

Examples of the Reserve’s educational programs include yearround tours of the Reserve, onand off-site K though 12 education programs, summer camps, professional development workshops for educators, community events, presentations and displays at statewide public events, Prudence Island beach cleanups, and exhibits in the Reserve’s learning center.

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