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The Save The Bay Center is a special, award-winning building with a special mission. It provides classrooms for Bay educational programs, as well as meeting space. However, the building itself represents Save The Bay’s approach to promoting environmentally smart shoreline development.


Kudos for the Bay Center

Coastal Livingmagazine has named the Save The Bay Center the winner of its 2008 Coastal Living Design Award. 

The Bay Center has been recognized as one of the nation's top brownfields redevelopment projects, named Region 1 winner of the EPA's 2005 Phoenix Award. In 2007, the Center was declared a "model" of brownfields development in a GreenSource magazine case study. Also in 2007, the building was declared a "Center of Success" by Offshore magzine.


The building tells a trememdous story about the Bay and how people connect with their environment. you are invited to visit our Center and learn more first-hand. Our building hours are from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Our grounds are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.

The Explore The Bay Education Center Capital Campaign was launched in March of 2000. The effort received a huge boost when the Congressional delegation, led by Sen. Jack Reed, secured a $2 million federal appropriation. After surviving the very difficult fundraising climate that followed the September 2001 terrorist attacks, ground was broken at Fields Point in November of 2002 and construction began the following summer. The Save The Bay Center was dedicated on June 2, 2005.

Read Curt Spalding's dedication speech.


The 15,042-square foot building is located on a 6.07-acre site donated to Save The Bay by Johnson & Wales University. It features two classrooms, lab space, a large meeting room,
Save The Bay’s administrative offices and an adjacent boathouse with a fixed pier and dock.

The Prince Charitable Trusts Dock features a T-wharf capable of berthing several vessels and has become the hub for all Upper Bay educational programs, providing a more convenient location for the many Providence-area schools we serve. Now kids can collect and study Upper Bay creatures or test water quality in a matter of minutes, direct from habitat to Bay Center laboratory. The new facility also represents instant access to the Bay for our Habitat staff, allowing them to load restoration supplies right from the boathouse onto Alletta Morris or Swift. The future of the dock includes live exhibits and a working upweller, which will encourage the growth of shellfish such as oysters and clams. These bivalves are natural pollutant filters and will help to revitalize the Fields Point shoreline.

The Bay Center cost approximately $7 million — a figure that includes the cost of preparing the land ($2 million) and building the Center itself ($5 million). It is important to note that many of the “green” aspects of our building save both energy and costs. 

June 2, 2005

The southern tip of Fields Point, where the Bay Center is located, is the site of a former municipal dump where construction debris and other waste was deposited directly into the Providence River. While no significant toxins were detected here, tests revealed that rotting organic material was generating traces of methane gas. Nonetheless, the entire site was capped. Engineers reshaped the shoreline with a revetment (a rock seawall) to prevent it from being eroded by wave action or stormwater runoff.

The building, designed by Croxton Collaborative Architects, P.C., has a “green” roof. The plantings, as well as the berm along the north side of the building, reduce the amount of stormwater that runs off the roof. The parking lot is surrounded by small ponds or “swales.” This system collects runoff through a series of bio-retention trenches, capturing stormwater that would otherwise flood the parking area and mix with road salts, oil and other contaminants that would make their way to the Bay.

The architects designed the building to maximize the sun’s exposure. Because the building faces south, it benefits from the maximum passive heating from winter sunshine. And hidden on the lower roof of the building’s west wing is a 20-kilowatt photovoltaic system, one of the largest in the state, that will provide as much energy as it takes to power the building’s lights.

The Save The Bay Center serves as a demonstration site for many building and conservation techniques that are important to a healthy Narragansett Bay and watershed.

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