PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recently announced $6.4 million in matching grants to help communities reduce flooding, control stormwater, and strengthen Rhode Island’s climate resilience.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open – with a deadline of June 30.
Proposals are being solicited for three categories of grants:
Stormwater Pollution Abatement Projects – $3 million available projects that improve stormwater management and abate stormwater pollution.
Collaborative projects that incorporate green infrastructure on a watershed basis, capital projects that strengthen local stormwater management programs, and projects that implement a Best Management Practice identified through an approved stormwater management plan or restoration plan are encouraged. Grants will provide 50 to 75 percent of project costs.
Flood Prevention and Mitigation Projects – $3 million available projects that reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flooding in coastal or inland areas and enhance natural ecosystem functions.
Eligible projects include the restoration of floodplains and stream banks, removal of impervious surfaces and re-vegetation in flood-prone areas, culvert replacements, dam removals, and projects that mitigate flooding risks to developed properties. Grants will provide 50 to 75 percent of project costs.
Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement Projects – $400,000 available projects that address indirect (or ‘nonpoint’) sources of pollution and improve water quality/aquatic habitat.
Projects include those that address pollution from farms, removal of cesspools or converting to a non-discharging wastewater treatment system, or mitigate stormwater pollution in areas not covered by a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.
Projects in five targeted geographic areas are eligible for funding, including Bristol-Kickemuit River watershed, Barrington-Palmer-Warren Rivers watershed, Aquidneck Island watershed, Nonquit Pond watershed, and Wood-Pawcatuck watershed.
Nonpoint source and stormwater pollution are significant causes of poor water quality. Grant funding is made possible via the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond ($3 million), the 2016 Green Economy Bond ($3 million), and the federal Clean Water Act Section 319 program ($400,000).
Rhode Islanders consistently support investments in environmental protection and overwhelmingly approved passage of the $35 million Green Economy Bond last November.
The Bond funds improvements to bikeways and other state and local recreational facilities; preservation of open space; stormwater mitigation; and cleanup of former industrial “brownfield” sites for redevelopment. The first wave of Bond investments, totaling $10 million, was announced earlier this year. Ten bikeway projects around Rhode Island will create over 10 new miles of path and improve safety and connectivity across the state’s bikeway network.
The full RFP is available on DEM’s website.
Electronic applications are encouraged; however, proposals may also be mailed to the DEM Permit Application Center, 235 Promenade Street, Second Floor, Providence, RI 02908.
Final proposals and supporting materials are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017.
Local, state and regional governmental agencies, as well as public schools, universities, businesses, and non-profit watershed, environmental or conservation organizations, are eligible to apply.
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov.