Protect Narragansett Bay
Sewage and runoff pollution flows into Narragansett Bay, causing hundreds of beach closures closings in Rhode Island in recent years. Short-sighted Supreme Court decisions have left more than half of Rhode Island’s streams vulnerable to pollution. The EPA can fix this problem by updating clean water standards, but polluters and their allies are threatening to block them. To protect Narragansett Bay, we need to show massive public support for clean water.
Protect Narragansett Bay
Narragansett Bay at risk
Whether we’re fishing off Point Judith, swimming at First Beach or sailing along the coast, Narragansett Bay is a huge part of what we love about Rhode Island. Yet the Bay’s waters face serious pollution — from sewage overflows, development, unrestricted pollution and more. Environment Rhode Island is working to rein in the pollution, and restore Narragansett Bay to health.
Too often, we’ve seen our beaches closed due to high pollution levels, with hundreds of beach closures in recent years. The Department of Health also warns against swimming in the Upper Bay because of sewage pollution.
Clean Water Act loopholes leave half of our streams unprotected
Over the past decade, polluters and irresponsible developers have used the courts to strip Clean Water Act protections from small streams and wetlands.
More than half of Rhode Island’s streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development as a result. Polluters can dump into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it. And it’s not just small streams and wetlands that will suffer — these waterways are the same ones that feed the Bay and help to keep it clean.
The EPA can protect the Bay
The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to update clean water standards to reduce pollution in Narragansett Bay, but polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to block them. We need to show overwhelming public support for tough clean water standards to protect the Bay and all of our waterways.
This spring, we and our allies across the country submitted more than 170,000 petitions to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to restore protections to all of our waters and cut sewage pollution. In April, she announced a plan to do just that.
But polluters’ allies in Congress won’t give up — and now they’re threatening to stop the EPA from doing its job. At the same time, powerful corporate interests are preparing for battle: ExxonMobil threatened “legal warfare” if the EPA moves forward with its plan to restore Clean Water Act protections.
Our plan to defend Narragansett Bay
We refuse to let polluters and their allies in Congress open our precious waterways to more dumping and development. We’re bringing together Rhode Islanders from all walks of life to protect the Bay. From anglers to sailing enthusiasts, clergy to scientists, local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean.
Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the state, educating Rhode Islanders about what’s at stake. But if we’re going to push past ExxonMobil and other powerful polluters, we’re going to need everyone who cares about the Bay to get involved. Join our campaign by sending the EPA a message today.
- More than half of Rhode Island’s streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development
- There are more than 100 beach closings or advisories in Rhode Island every year
- Thousands of Rhode Islanders have already joined our call to protect the Bay