Presentation on resiliency of naval station, coast

A seminar about the resiliency of Naval Station Newport will be presented virtually via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23.

Sponsored by the Aquidneck Island Climate Caucus, the event will feature Cornelia Mueller, the station’s liaison for community planning, and Pam Rubinoff, an associate manager of coastal resilience with the Rhode Island Sea Grant. Aquidneck Island legislators Lauren Carson and Terri Cortvriend will lead the discussion.

There also will be a presentation by Ryan Mulcahey, director of legislative affairs at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. He will discuss the so-called Green Bond, which is the third question on the Nov. 8 ballot. The referendum would earmark $50 million to environmental measures, including $16 million to help municipalities restore and improve resiliency of vulnerable coastal habitats, floodplains and infrastructure.

Administered by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, this investment in the Municipal Resilience Program will fund matching grants up to 75 percent to directly support the 39 cities and towns to identify top hazards, improve resiliency and strengthen public safety in the face of increased flooding and more frequent, intense storms driven by climate change. Since 2019, the program has provided action grants to implement 35 priority projects across 27 municipalities. North Kingstown, for example, was given $25,000 to mitigate the impacts of the stormwater flow by removing unnecessary pavement and installing grassy areas, a sediment forebay, and a sand filter at the end of Roger Williams Drive, which extends toward Wickford Cove.

The bond also would appropriate $3 million for watershed protection of Narragansett Bay, $5 million to protect open space, $2 million for public recreation and $5 million to help small businesses upgrade their operations by providing grants and economical loans to implement green projects that create clean energy.

Gov. Dan McKee, who is seeking re-election against Republican challenger Ashley Kalus, said the bond “exemplifies the power of government and public-private partnerships to solve problems and make people’s lives better.”

“I intend for Rhode Island to emerge stronger and fairer from the COVID pandemic than we were going into it,” he said. “Voting yes on Question 3 will go a good way toward achieving it.”