DEM offers $6.4M in grants to address R.I. stormwater and flooding

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Environmental Management announced Monday that it will provide $6.4 million in matching grants to address stormwater and flooding issues statewide. Proposals are due by 4 p.m., June 30. According to the release, grants focus on strengthening Rhode Island’s climate resilience.

The DEM is accepting proposals for three categories of projects: stormwater and pollution abatement projects, flood prevention and mitigation projects, and non-point source pollution abatement projects.

DEM announced that $3 million will be available for stormwater and pollution abatement projects, such as the incorporation of green infrastructure on a watershed basis or capital projects that strengthen local stormwater management programs.

Another $3 million is available for flood prevention and mitigation projects. DEM recommended projects for this category such as the restoration of floodplains and stream banks, the removal of impervious surfaces and re-vegetation in flood-prone areas, culvert replacements, dam removals, and projects that mitigate flooding risks to developed properties.

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An additional $400,000 is available for non-point source pollution abatement projects such as addressing pollution from farms, removal of cesspools or other pollution mitigation not covered presently by a municipal separate storm sewer system permit. Projects in five targeted geographic areas are eligible for non-point source pollution abatement funding:

  • The Bristol-Kickemuit River watershed
  • The Barrington-Palmer-Warren Rivers watershed
  • The Aquidneck Island watershed
  • The Nonquit Pond watershed
  • The Wood-Pawcatuck watershed

Approved projects will receive 50-75 percent of project costs from the DEM grants.

According to the release, grant funding came from the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond, the 2016 Green Economy Bond and the federal Clean Water Act Section 319 program.

Informational workshops on the application process will be held on Wednesday from 10 a.m.-noon at the Middletown Public Library as well as on Thursday from 2-4 p.m. at the DEM headquarters in Providence.

DEM said that local, state and regional governmental agencies, as well as public schools, universities, businesses, and nonprofit watershed, environmental or conservation organizations, are eligible to apply.

More information of the grants can be found on the DEM website.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.