Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District (ERICD) and Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) today announced that they have released the results of a survey of Newport residents assessing the impact of flooding in the city’s North End neighborhood. This survey serves as the background assessment for implementing green stormwater infrastructure projects in the North End.
ERICD and HEZ say that data from this survey were analyzed and collated by a research group of students at the University of Rhode Island for their final capstone project. A preview of survey results include:
• 38% of respondents reported that their children walked through flooded areas on their way to school after it rained.
• When asked “If there was a flood tomorrow would you feel prepared to handle it?” only 24% of respondents responded that they would feel prepared and know what to do.
• 73% of respondents said that there was flooding in their neighborhoods after it rained.
• 77% of respondents described themselves as very concerned or somewhat concerned about pollution in Narragansett Bay.
The primary focus of this project is to engage residents to discover nature-based solutions to flooding caused by stormwater runoff due to poor drainage in the area. The North End is vulnerable to stormwater pollution and flooding, a leading cause of water quality impairment such as increased bacteria levels in surface water. Green infrastructure installations mimic natural water filtration and reduce flooding of polluted stormwater.
“This collaboration between ERICD, The City of Newport, HEZ, this group of local funders, and the residents of the North End will form a new long-term relationship to enhance local sustainability,” said Sara Churgin, District Manager for ERICD in a statement.
Angela McCalla, who represents the North End neighborhood as First Ward City Councilor said in a statement, “It is important for us to set an example for our children to have pride of place and be involved in the decisions that are made about our community. Incorporating civic engagement with environmental responsibility will ensure a healthy, green future for the City of Newport.”
This project is funded by Partners for Places, a matching grant program aimed at improving communities in the US and Canada in partnership with local funding groups, to produce a vested, local interest in sustainable community development. The matching partners for this grant are the Rhode Island Foundation, the van Buren Charitable Foundation, and Price Charitable Trusts.