Legislation would create fund
for climate-change grants

PROVIDENCE – A state Senate proposal would create a coastal adaption trust fund, from which cities and towns could apply for grants to make their public infrastructure more resilient to climate change.

The proposal, introduced by Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, D-Warwick, is called the R.I. Coastal Adaption Trust Fund. Prata is an attorney in private practice in Warwick.

Introduced in February, the proposal was scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture.

The proposal would identify adaptation efforts as those in response to sea-level rise, flooding, storm surge, coastal erosion, and would be aimed at reducing the vulnerability of low-lying infrastructure such as roads, parking lots and buildings, on public lands.

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The efforts could include removal, relocation, redesign and acquisition of land to maintain public access.

The fund would be administered by the R.I. Department of Environmental Management and the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council. It would be financed through private donations, grants, federal funds or appropriations from the General Assembly, according to the bill.

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@pbn.com.