NE - EPA Coastal Restoration Grants Will Help Massachusetts and Rhode Island Communities

BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) announced the awarding of $1.8 million in new funding to local organizations working for clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems in Southeast New England.

The funding is provided by EPA under the 2020 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants, a collaboration between EPA Region 1 and RAE. The grant program builds and supports partnerships that tackle the region's most pressing environmental issues, such as nutrient pollution and coastal habitat loss.

"EPA is pleased to provide funding to implement these local projects that promise to have positive environmental and community outcomes in the Southeast New England region," said U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "This year's $1.8 million investment in Rhode Island and Massachusetts coastal communities will fund projects that help increase grass-roots involvement and build local capacity, including in economically distressed areas and environmental justice communities. These projects emphasize community resilience and will yield significant social, economic, and environmental benefits for our region."

"With an investment of almost $1.8 million dollars, we will be able to build upon the success we have already had here in the state in preserving vital coastal habitat and further reducing pollution in the watershed," said U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

"We are pleased to partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support these investments in improving water quality, coastal habitats, and recreational opportunities for communities throughout Southeastern New England," said Daniel Hayden, President of Restore America's Estuaries. "These projects support jobs today, while protecting the resources that support tourism, fishing and recreation."

By funding locally based partnerships that are working to reduce pollution and restore coastal habitats, the SNEP Watershed Grants program is helping to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Southeast New England communities. Southeast New England's coastal environment has never been more important. In a time of quarantine and social distancing, careful outdoor recreation is one of the few safe sources of enjoyment and exercise for families and individuals of all ages, while the business activity generated by a clean coastal environment – from fishing to boatbuilding to, when it returns, coastal tourism – will be key to rebuilding our pandemic-battered economy.

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