BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded two Wetland Program Development Grants to Rhode Island out of 16 grants totaling $1.5 million for projects in New England, the EPA announced Tuesday.
Both Ocean State grants were awarded to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management for two-year projects. Half of the grant funding was given to the state during 2013 and the remainder will be awarded early in 2014, said EPA spokesman David Deegan.
One of the two-year grants totaling $117,000 is for the project “Integration of Wetland Protection and Restoration with Watershed Planning in Rhode Island.” The project will apply wetland monitoring data to produce analyses of landscape information to develop recommended local actions for wetland protection and restoration that will be integrated into the state’s watershed plan.
The project “State of Science: Freshwater Wetland Buffers and Protection of Functions and Values” got a $40,000 grant for the 2013-2104 period. The project will compile and summarize scientific information on wetland buffers, and examine state and local policies.
“EPA is pleased to provide grants that will support vital research, assessment and training to help protect wetlands in New England,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Healthy wetlands are very important for the environmental benefits they provide to our communities. Wetlands help minimize the damaging impacts from floods, they help purify and protect drinking water, and they provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for citizens.”