Senator Reed to Allocate $1.69 Million Grant for Roger Williams University to Strengthen Coastal Resiliency in Narragansett Bay Watershed

In recognition of Rhode Island’s vital coastal and watershed resources and its status as the second-most densely populated state in the nation, U.S. Senator Jack Reed underscores the importance of studying human-environment interactions. Senator Reed emphasizes the necessity for Rhode Island to adopt a strategic approach aimed at enhancing coastal resiliency and promoting ecosystem health.

The well-being of the nearly 1.1 million residents in the Ocean State is intricately linked to the health of Rhode Island’s bays, watersheds, soil, and air, all of which significantly impact the state’s economy and communities. To address these concerns, Senator Reed collaborates with Roger Williams University (RWU) to propel research on the various impacts of pollution. This partnership aims to inform and develop policies that safeguard the environment and elevate the quality of life for Rhode Islanders.

On Friday, February 16, at 12:00 noon, Senator Reed, alongside Roger Williams University President Ioannis Miaoulis, faculty members, and students, will unveil a federal earmark. This substantial $1.69 million grant will support the retrofitting and equipping of RWU’s new Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science Laboratory. This state-of-the-art facility will focus on studying human-derived pollutants in the air, soil, and water.

Building on its leadership in driving the region’s Blue Economy research and innovations, RWU is set to expand and integrate its work into the Green Economy with the launch of this research lab.

In the fiscal year 2023 appropriations law, Senator Reed successfully secured the $1.69 million earmark for RWU. This funding will facilitate the retrofitting of existing lab space and the outfitting of a new experimental lab, equipped with cutting-edge analytical equipment. The interdisciplinary Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science Laboratory intends to share its research findings with state officials and the business community. The goal is to contribute to informed environmental policies, plans, and workforce development initiatives that enhance the ecosystem health and coastal resiliency of Rhode Island communities.

This federal funding empowers RWU to advance its efforts in identifying and addressing environmental pollutants in the state’s waterways and coastal ecosystems. Additionally, the new lab will collaborate with RWU’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED), the RWU Law Marine Affairs Institute, and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program to address Rhode Island-specific issues and conduct research within the Narragansett Bay watershed.




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