The WRWC was featured in EcoRI News!

Rhode Island has received a large wave of federal funding dedicated to environmental protections, infrastructure, and equity initiatives. EcoRI News identified a host of projects funded through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), totaling over $700 million having been awarded to Rhode Island organizations for environmental projects.

Among the recipients of this federal funding is the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, which received a $500,000 grant to implement green infrastructure along the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. Funding is also being used to further expand its community-based programs Nuevas Voces and Campeones, two community engagement programs geared toward empowering and training Olneyville’s residents to become climate justice advocates and leaders in their own community.

The WRWC is excited to use this funding for vital stormwater management projects along the River in its efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change, especially the Watershed’s most vulnerable communities like Olneyville. One particular issue of concern has been that of flooding and stormwater runoff, which further erodes the riverbanks and carries pollutants that contaminate the River. Executive Director Alicia Lehrer notes that “Our biggest focus is on flood resilience on the lower watershed…In March 2010, we had that 100-year flood and it completely inundated [the River] for days and there was so much damage done. We just want to make sure we try to mitigate those effects as much as possible.”

The WRWC is one of many Rhode Island organizations that received federal funding for targeted investments in the state’s environmental infrastructure and climate resilience. You can read EcoRI’s full story here.