Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is being awarded to seven Rhode Island organizations that will help promote cleaner water and healthier coastal ecosystems.

The awards, totaling $1.1 million for the Rhode Island groups, were announced by Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), who partners with EPA to administer the program to advance the health of coastal ecosystems in southeastern New England.

The City of Newport was awarded $108,750 to implement an innovative approach to reducing urban stormwater by providing incentives to private property owners.

The funding is provided under EPA New England’s 2019 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. The grant program builds and supports partnerships that tackle the region’s most pressing environmental issues, such as nutrient pollution and coastal habitat loss. For 2019, RAE selected seven grant recipients in Rhode Island through a rigorous competitive process. The awardees include municipalities, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.

In Rhode Island, the 2019 SNEP Watershed Grants are providing $1.1 million to seven local partnerships led by the following organizations:

  • Audubon Society of RI to create a regional center for stormwater innovation at Roger Williams Park in Providence ($177,534);
  • City of Cranston to restore clean water at Spectacle Pond, with benefits to Roger Williams Park and the Pawtuxet River system ($187,500);
  • Groundwork Rhode Island to install stormwater improvements in Providence and provide job training for urban youth ($198,891);
  • City of Newport to implement an innovative approach to reducing urban stormwater by providing incentives to private property owners ($108,750);
  • Northern RI Conservation District to establish a manure management program for small farmers in the Scituate Reservoir watershed, reducing pollution to Providence’s drinking water supply ($113,976);
  • Town of Warren to install innovative stormwater practices on waterfront streets to reduce pollution to Narragansett Bay ($25,000); and
  • Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council to install stormwater practices along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway, reducing pollution to the Providence River and Narragansett Bay ($245,000).

More information: EPA’s Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program https://www.epa.gov/snecwrp

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.