October 23, 2017

 

Dear Friends,

You may have seen it on the national and local news today: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibited three of its scientists from participating in the release of the 2017 State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed report this morning.

This report, produced by the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, is the culmination of three years of scientific analysis by practitioners from universities, organizations, and agencies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It offers a new and unprecedented understanding of the changing conditions in the Bay and its watershed. The three EPA scientists, who were supposed to talk today about climate change impacts on Narragansett Bay, contributed substantially to the scientific foundation of the report.

The report presents good news and tremendous successes made possible by the vision and collective efforts of voters, policy-makers, elected officials, government agencies, environmental organizations and the citizenry in both the Ocean and Bay states. The cleanup of Narragansett Bay is a national success story that would never have happened without sound scientific research and knowledge.

The report also finds that climate change is profoundly affecting Narragansett Bay. Air and water temperatures are warming. Seas are rising. Salt marshes are drowning. The report calls for more research and monitoring to understand these major changes and make well-informed decisions to protect our waters, coastal habitat and communities.

“Science gives us headlights to see what’s coming up for us in the Bay,” ~ Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

The EPA’s decision to pull its three scientists from this morning’s presentation is a travesty so significant that it made the New York Times, the Boston Globe, USA Today, and Providence Journal, among other prominent national and local news outlets.

The fact is this: scientific evidence will not change by silencing our nation’s scientists. However, our federal government could reverse decades of progress and put our coastal communities at grave risk by pretending the science of climate change doesn’t exist.

“Now is not the time to turn a blind eye to what the science is telling us.” ~ Senator Jack Reed

Indeed, good public policy depends on sound science. Now more than ever before, as the federal government undercuts science and progress, our local communities must stand up and speak out for Narragansett Bay.

 

Respectfully,

 

Jonathan Stone, Executive Director

Save The Bay, Inc., 100 Save The Bay Dr., Providence, RI 02905
Save The Bay® is a registered trademark of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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