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

This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to close the loopholes in the Clean Water Act. This could be the single largest step taken for clean water in more than a decade. But big polluters are pressuring the EPA to back down. They’ve threatened “legal warfare,” and made false claims, including one that the EPA wants to “regulate mud puddles.” 

Our plan to defend our rivers and streams 

It is clear that if polluters win, our rivers and streams lose, and with them downstream waterways like the Bay. And we know that we can’t compete with their lobbyists dollar for dollar. But the public is with us—and if we can prove that to our elected officials, we can win. That's why we’re bringing together Rhode Islanders from all walks of life to protect our waterways. From farmers to scientists, from local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean. 

For several years, 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 drown out the opposition and convince President Obama and the EPA to finalize a rule and protect our waters, we can’t let the momentum falter. Right now, we need everyone who cares about our waterways to get involved.

 Join our campaign by sending the EPA a message today.


Clean Water Updates

News Release | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

Rhode Island waterways receive top rank with least toxic dumping of any state

Rhode Island ranks best nationwide with the least amount of toxic industrial pollution dumped into the state’s waterways, according to a new report by Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center. Industrial facilities dumped just over 600 pounds of toxic chemicals into Rhode Island’s waterways in 2012, compared to nearly 18 million pounds in the worst-ranking state, Indiana. The report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Rhode Island and across the nation.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways

Rhode Island ranks best nationwide with the least amount of toxic industrial pollution dumped into the state’s waterways, according to a new report by Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center. Industrial facilities dumped just over 600 pounds of toxic chemicals into Rhode Island’s waterways in 2012, compared to nearly 18 million pounds in the worst-ranking state, Indiana. The report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Rhode Island and across the nation.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Rhode Island

Environmental groups hail EPA action as biggest step for clean water in a decade

Coming off the biggest step forward for clean water in more than a decade, Environment Rhode Island stood with regional organizations and officials to celebrate the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to restore Clean Water Act protections to waterways across New England and the rest of the country. The EPA’s proposed rule would close loopholes from polluter-led litigation that leave 54% of Rhode Island streams at risk of unchecked pollution.

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News Release | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

Narragansett Bay haunted by stormwater, trash, global warming

On Halloween, Environment Rhode Island released Frightening Facts about Narragansett Bay, a fact sheet that compiles ten of the most "scary" realities facing Rhode Island’s most iconic waterway. The fact sheet comes on the heels of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of its intention to move forward with a rulemaking to restore Clean Water Act protections to streams and wetlands across the country.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center

Frightening Facts about Narragansett Bay

On Halloween, Environment Rhode Island released Frightening Facts about Narragansett Bay, a fact sheet that compiles ten of the most "scary" realities facing Rhode Island’s most iconic waterway. The fact sheet comes on the heels of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of its intention to move forward with a rulemaking to restore Clean Water Act protections to streams and wetlands across the country.

> Keep Reading

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