DEM receives $171K EPA grant to develop wetland reference guides

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Environmental Management was awarded a $170,985 Wetland Program Development Grant to develop a statewide reference guide for salt marshes and a freshwater wetland condition reference gradient to enhance interpretation and application of field data in order to improve prioritization of future projects, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.

The grant is part of $1.3 million in grant allocations to all six New England states to research or protect wetlands.

“These grants are a good example of our productive relationship with state partners, achieving meaningful environmental benefits for American communities by working collaboratively,” said Deb Szaro, acting regional administrator for EPA’s New England office, in a statement. “Protecting wetlands is a cost-effective way to help communities take advantage of the significant benefits provided by healthy wetlands: buffering from storms and flooding, filtering stormwater, protecting habitat and offering recreational enjoyment.”

The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office was awarded $73,803 in WPDG funds to use model data to characterize coastal wetland migration corridors and to use the information to improve land-use planning efforts in the area.

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