Press Releases

Bay Agenda 2014 EP Save The Bay

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2014

Contact

media@savebay.org

Save The Bay Convenes Government and Community Leaders to Discuss 2014 Policy Issues Affecting Narragansett Bay

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Save The Bay held its 2014 Bay Agenda event on Monday, February 10 from 4-6 p.m. at the Save The Bay Center in Providence. The annual event brought together General Assembly leaders, executive agency heads, and municipal leaders to discuss the major policy questions affecting Narragansett Bay and the outlook for action at the Rhode Island State House in 2014. 

Jonathan Stone, Executive Director of Save The Bay, opened the program with a plea to state leaders to keep the health of Narragansett Bay high on their list of priorities, due to its critical importance to the quality of life, economy, and identity of Rhode Island. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Newport City Manager Jane Howington, and East Providence Department of Public Works Director Steve Coutu followed Stone with presentations. They discussed the challenges their communities face in providing effective wastewater treatment services, and in managing stormwater, both as a flooding threat and as a water quality problem. 

Topher Hamblett, Director of Advocacy for Save The Bay, discussed the need for investment in clean water infrastructure and the Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities bond included in Governor Chafee’s proposed FY15 budget. Hamblett drove home the importance of increasing the lending capacity of the RI Clean Water Finance Agency (RICWFA) to provide much needed support for conventional - and innovative, infrastructure investments.

“We need resources and well-designed strategies to successfully tackle our wastewater and stormwater problems,” stated Hamblett. 

The evening included informal observations from agency representatives, including: Janet Coit, Director of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; Grover Fugate, Executive Director of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council; William Sequino, Executive Director of RI Clean Water Finance Agency; Ray Marshall, Executive Director of Narragansett Bay Commission; and June Swallow, Chief, Office of Drinking Water Quality at the Rhode Island Department of Health. 

The program concluded with “A View from the State House” from Senator Susan Sosnowski, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Agriculture, and Representative Art Handy, Chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

About Save The Bay

Founded in 1970, Save The Bay is a nonprofit member organization working to protect, restore and explore Narragansett Bay and its watershed. Save The Bay believes the Bay’s future depends on tomorrow’s leaders understanding how important the Bay is to our economy, environment and quality of life. The organization offers education programs to schools, community groups and the general public; protects Narragansett Bay by advocating for Bay-friendly legislation, reviewing permits and raising public awareness; and restores the Bay to full health through its extensive habitat restoration program.

Click for photos of event