Portsmouth will receive a $339,000 grant from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, among programs sharing $1 million in grants to implement climate resilience plans they developed as part of the bank’s Municipal Resilience Program.

According to the Infrastructure Bank, Portsmouth will use its grant for rehabilitation and stabilization of the Melville Dam, and three flood mitigation projects to expand the capacity of existing infrastructure for increasing precipitation volumes.

Other communities or programs receiving grants are:

  • Barrington – $201,000
  • Coastal restoration for flood mitigation at Walker Farm
  • Green infrastructure for water quality benefits at Bowden and Opechee Streets
  • Warren – $156,000
  • Three green infrastructure projects to reduce runoff and improve water quality at public access points to the Warren and Kickemuit Rivers
  • Westerly – $304,000
  • Flood protection wall at the Old Canal St. Pump Station
  • Two green infrastructure projects to reduce flooding and improve water quality of the Pawcatuck River

The grants were awarded through a competitive process in which the participating programs submitted action grant proposals, agreed to a 25 percent local match. The process was led by The Nature Conservancy.

“The Infrastructure Bank is committed to accelerating investment in sustainable infrastructure that better prepares Rhode Island communities for a changing climate” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “We look forward to building on the success of the first round of the program and partnering with communities statewide to prepare and invest in critical infrastructure.” 

The Infrastructure Bank and Nature Conservancy will be announcing the 2020 round of the Municipal Resilience Program participants at the Infrastructure Banks’s Legislative Day on tomorrow (Feb. 12). 

“Better prepared municipalities lead to a better prepared Ocean State. Rising sea levels, increasing heat, and extreme storm events will have long-term effects on local infrastructure and residents,” said Shaun O’Rourke, Director of Stormwater and Resiliency at the Infrastructure Bank and the State’s Chief Resiliency Officer. “The Municipal Resilience Program is building a statewide pipeline of priority projects to more effectively and efficiently respond to the climate impacts we are already experiencing.”

“The Nature Conservancy is proud to be an implementation partner on the Municipal Resilience Program. Municipalities across the state are already confronted with the realities of climate change. The workshops empower communities to collaboratively figure out how to meet these challenges,” said Sue AnderBois, The Nature Conservancy’s Climate and Energy Program Manager. “These grants will help the initial Resilient Rhody Municipalities implement some of their priorities – and we are pleased to see that the Governor’s proposed Beach, Clean Water and Green Bond includes funding for an additional 20 municipalities.”


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