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September 23, 2019

Audubon to Play Key Role in Stormwater Innovation

Receives Federal Grant for $177,535

Audubon Society of Rhode Island received $177,535 in federal grant funding to work in partnership with the City of Providence Parks Department and The Nature Conservancy to create a regional center for stormwater innovation at Roger Williams Park in Providence. The City of Providence is investing $1.5 million in natural infrastructure to prevent stormwater pollution at Roger Williams Park. The Stormwater Innovation Center is using the installations as training resources to advance stormwater management practices in Rhode Island.

This grant is part of Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $2.3 million in funding to local organizations working for clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems in southeast New England, including seven Rhode Island organizations. In total, these organizations will receive nearly $1.1 million for environ- mental programs and projects. The funding is provided under the South- east New England Watershed Grant Program, a collaboration between RAE and EPA that supports partnership addressing the region’s pressing environmental issues.

Audubon is also part of the Stormwater Technical Assistance Network recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This $1.75 million grant to the New England Environmental Finance Cen- ter of the University of Southern Maine will support a dozen organiza- tions working collaboratively to build the ability of municipalities, tribes and organizations in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts to enhance resiliency and manage stormwater.

The power of this collaboration was demonstrated on October 30, 2019 when over 100 private and public sector stormwater vendors came together at the Stormwater Expo hosted by the Green Infrastructure Coalition at the Casino in Roger Williams Park to network and learn about innovative stormwater solutions. Audubon helped coordinate tours led by engineers from Horsley Witten Group and Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions who joined Brian Byrnes, City of Providence Deputy Superintendent of Parks to showcase stormwater practices near the Roger Williams Park Casino. The tours highlighted insights from green infrastructure design, construction, and maintenance.

In the photo above: Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Cicilline, and Providence Major Elorza gathered at Roger Williams Park with with recipients of the Federal Grant including Audubon Senior Director of Policy Meg Kerr (front row center in blue shirt) and Audubon Executive Director Larry Taft (behind Meg Kerr in blue shirt).

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Audubon offers a dozen evening programs this summer – opportunities to seek out those mysterious noises with expert guides who not only know the winding trails by heart but can share their vast knowledge of natural history with visitors. Whether it is a family walk in search of fireflies, an evening hike under a full moon, or an excursion to observe the acrobatic skills of bats, the more you learn about what you see and hear, the more amazed you will be at the happenings in nature.

In this Issue: The Release of “The State of Our Birds, Part 2”; Responsibility Bird Monitoring; Neonicotinoid Analysis, MOTUS Tower Installation Click here to subscribe to the Audubon bird research email newsletter!

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island has been instrumental in protecting these species through direct action as well as by saving habitat that supports them. In honor of Endangered Species Day (May 19, 2023), learn more about this landmark piece of legislation!