Recent News

September 17, 2018
Restore America's Estuaries
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

For Immediate Release

Contact: Thomas Ardito
401-675-3109 |

On Monday, Sept. 17, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce $4.5 million in new funding for local organizations working to restore clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems to Southeast New England.

The announcement event is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Pawtucket City Hall (agenda attached).

The funding is provided under the 2018 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants, a collaboration between RAE and EPA Region 1. The goal of the grant program is to build and support partnerships to tackle the region’s most pressing environmental issues, such as nutrient pollution and coastal habitat loss.

RAE selected 14 grant recipients through a rigorous competitive process. The awardees include municipalities, non-profit organizations, state agencies, universities and regional planning organizations, each of which is leading an innovative, high-impact project of regional importance. The $4.5 million in federal funds will be matched by an additional $1.8 million in state and local dollars – providing altogether more than $6.3 million in funds to protect and restore Southeast New England’s environment.

The 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are funding $2.3 million in Rhode Island and interstate projects, including:

  • Town of Bristol to restore Silver Creek on Bristol Harbor ($300,000);
  • City of Pawtucket to build a “green and complete street” – integrating clean water and transportation improvements – adjacent to the new rail station ($376,000);
  • RIDEM to upgrade environmental monitoring equipment in Narragansett Bay ($300,000);
  • Save The Bay to restore clean water in Hundred Acre Cove in Upper Narragansett Bay ($132,000);
  • University of Rhode Island for a scientific study of groundwater pollution to Narragansett Bay and the South Shore salt ponds ($475,000);
  • R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to work with the State of Connecticut on restoring the Pawcatuck River Estuary and Little Narragansett Bay ($450,000); and
  • New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission to develop a new method of assessing coastal water quality, providing an important new tool for state and local clean water restoration efforts ($250,000).

The program is funding an additional $2.2 million in Massachusetts projects, which will be announced at an event at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, MA on Sept. 24.

“This federal funding will go a long way toward helping us continue the great progress we’ve made in cleaning up our estuaries and preserving our state’s natural beauty,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Pollution does not respect state lines, and we must work together to confront the environmental challenges we face across Southeast New England. Maintaining healthy watersheds and coastal ecosystems has direct impacts on the economies of our coastal communities and our quality of life. I applaud everyone involved in this process and I pledge to continue working in Washington on behalf of our coastlines and our environment as a whole.”

“Few things are more valuable to Rhode Island than our beautiful waterways and coastline. Protecting them is one of the smartest investments we can make,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “Thank you to the Rhode Islanders who secured this funding and will carry out this vital work.”

“The investment of federal money into these types of projects is critical,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “Clean water and vibrant coastal systems help keep people healthy and play an important economic factor by supporting tourism activities in our state and region.”

“Protecting iconic waters like bays and estuaries in Southern New England is a priority for EPA, and these projects will help further that goal,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. “The funding announced today will help protect clean water and establish innovative, watershed-based models that are vital to the ecological resiliency and economic vitality of our coastal communities.”

“The biggest threats to clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems – such as climate change, nutrient pollution, and habitat loss – demand collaborative, innovative, and targeted responses, which the recipients of the Southeast New England Program Watershed Grants are poised to deliver,” said RI Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit. “Rhode Island is grateful for these additional resources to tackle the challenges confronting us. We will continue to cooperate closely with Massachusetts and Connecticut to protect the vitality and resiliency of our shared waters and watersheds.”

“The City of Pawtucket is honored to have been selected as a recipient of the SNEP Watershed Grants thanks to the collaboration between Restore America’s Estuaries and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We thank our Congressional Delegation, who have always been great advocates and friends to Pawtucket,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “The Green and Complete Streets Project funded by this program will add green infrastructure and complete street design elements in a highly urbanized area that is expected to undergo substantial redevelopment in the next 10 years.”

Restore America’s Estuaries President Jeff Benoit said, “We are excited to see communities and organizations working together to improve water quality and coastal habitat throughout Southeast New England. This is important not only economically, but also for the quality of life in the region.”

By funding locally based partnerships that are working to reduce pollution and restore coastal habitats, the SNEP Watershed Grants program is helping to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Southeast New England communities. For more about SNEP Watershed Grants, see


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For Immediate Release: April 26, 2018

Contact: Leigh Habegger,, (703) 524-0248


RAE Announces New Partnership with Givalry

WASHINGTON, DC – Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is thrilled to announce our newest partnership with Givalry, an online marketplace that brings together purpose-driven brands, conscious consumers, and change-making organizations. Recently launched, Givalry not only provides eco-friendly, green products, but also provides consumers a way to purchase products and brands that align with their values (i.e. women-owned businesses, made in the USA, vegan) while supporting RAE!

We invite RAE supporters to #ShopToGiv at where you’ll find a wide range of ethical brands, many that you already know and love, and enjoy free shipping on all orders over $59. Givalry directs 25% of every dollar spent directly back to RAE, helping us continue our groundbreaking work in protecting and restoring our nation’s estuaries. The Givalry shop is easy to use, available 24/7 online, and there’s no cost to register as a supporter.

“We are thrilled about this new partnership – it provides a way for RAE supporters to shop consciously, support a mission-driven business, and support RAE’s important work along our nation’s coastline. This is a win-win-win for everyone!” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of RAE. “We greatly appreciate Givlary’s work to support RAE and other organizations and look forward to helping support their platform and mission,” Benoit continued.

“I’m so excited that we are able to help Restore America’s Estuaries raise money while introducing the world to purpose-driven brands with strong environmental and social missions. Together, we’re making a great impact while empowering everyone involved,” said Corey Berman, Founder and President of Givalry.

RAE supporters who wish to shop at Givlary and direct 25% of their purchase toward RAE can click this link.


Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation.


A PDF of the press release can be found here.

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Restore America’s Estuaries Launches 2018 Southeast New England Watershed Grants 

Pre-Proposals Due by 5 p.m. EST on March 30, 2018 

Informational Meetings in Mass. & Rhode Island 

Full information at 


For Immediate Release – Feb. 14, 2018 

Contact: Thomas Ardito,, (401) 575-6109 


(Saunderstown, RI) Clean water, healthy watersheds, and vibrant coastal ecosystems are essential to the communities of Southeast New England – a foundation of our region’s prosperity and quality of life. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems generate billions of dollars in economic value through beach-going, fishing, tourism, and many other uses. Yet despite recent improvements, water pollution and ecosystem degradation threaten our most important natural assets. 

To help restore clean water and healthy ecosystems to Southeast New England, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), with financial support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is launching the 2018 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. The grants target water pollution, habitat degradation, and other high-priority environmental issues, in order to foster sustainable coastal and watershed communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants will provide up to $2.5 million in grants, intended to encourage strategic investments by state, local, tribal, and regional partners. The source of the funding is federal, and grantees are expected to provide an additional 33% of the grant amount in non-federal matching funds. Cash and in-kind contributions may be counted toward match. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants are intended to support the goals and priorities of EPA’s Southeast New England Program, a regional effort to promote a resilient ecosystem of clean water, healthy diverse habitats, and sustainable communities in southeast New England’s coastal watersheds. Learn more about SNEP at 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants will be selected and awarded through a competitive, two-step application process, beginning with a pre-proposal due by 5 p.m. EST on March 30, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend a regional informational meeting or participate in a webinar, to learn more about the 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants and discuss project ideas. 

Informational Meetings & Webinars 

Informational Meetings: Informational meetings for prospective applicants will be held at the following locations and dates (all EST): 

  • Providence, RI: Tues., 27 Feb., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Save The Bay, 100 Save The Bay Dr., Providence, RI 02905 o 
  • Taunton, MA: Wed., 28 Feb., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Southeast Regional Planning & Economic Development District, 88 Broadway, Taunton, MA 02780 
  • East Falmouth, MA: Thurs., 1 Mar., 1:00 -2:00 p.m. at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 131 Waquoit Highway, Waquoit (East Falmouth), MA 02536 (Boathouse Building) 

Webinars: Informational webinars will be held on the following dates. 

  • Tues. 6 Mar., 1:00 p.m. – register at 
  • Thurs., 8 Mar., 1:00 p.m. – register at

The geographic region eligible for 2018 SNEP Watershed Grants extends from Westerly, R.I. to Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod, encompassing the major estuaries of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and their watershed lands as far north as Worcester, Mass. It includes the south shore of Cape Cod as well as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Block Island and the Elizabeth Islands. Please refer to for an interactive map. 

2018 SNEP Watershed Grants target integrated approaches to water quality and ecosystem restoration. SNEP recognizes that clean water, healthy habitats, resilient ecosystems, and prosperous communities are closely interconnected, and that strong partnerships offer the most effective means of meeting Southeast New England’s environmental challenges. Through this 2018 Request for Proposals (RFP), RAE seeks to support and develop innovative and transformative ideas, in order to improve the restoration, preservation, and management of coastal and watershed ecosystems throughout Southeast New England, now and in the future. 

Past rounds of SNEP grants have funded a variety of successful projects to restore clean water and coastal ecosystems. One priority is nutrient pollution to coastal waters. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus harm coastal ecosystems throughout Southeast New England by fertilizing excess growth of seaweeds, plankton and other algae. This reduces the oxygen in the water that fish and shellfish need to survive; degrades coastal habitats such as salt marshes and marine bottoms; and can catalyze outbreaks of toxic algae that pose acute health risks to humans and wildlife. SNEP grants for innovative approaches to storm water management, septic system research and coastal resilience are already helping Southeast New England communities tackle such pressing environmental issues. SNEP seeks to fund partnerships in order to leverage the resources of state, local, academic, corporate, non-profit and tribal organizations. 


Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization leading an alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country. RAE and its member organizations are dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation. For more about RAE, visit our website at 


Full PDF of release here.

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For Immediate Release: March 22, 2018

Contact: Leigh Habegger,, (703) 524-0248


Congress Supports Funding for Critical Coastal and Ocean Conservation Programs

WASHINGTON, DC – Congress unveiled its $1.3 trillion spending bill late Wednesday that resists deep cuts to critical environmental programs. Many programs focused on coastal habitat restoration and conservation within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) saw strong support in the FY18 Omnibus.

“We applaud the Appropriations Committee Members and their staffs in developing a bill that protects our environment, our citizens, nature-based economies, and our natural resources,” said Jeff Benoit, President and CEO of RAE. “Providing critical funds needed to fully execute coastal programs will not only protect the health and safety of our citizens, but will ensure our coastal communities and habitats remain resilient in the face of extreme weather.

“As our climate and oceans continue to change, it is imperative that Congress provides ample funding to safeguard our coastal communities, local economies, and natural resources. We were pleased to see modest increases for many habitat restoration programs throughout federal agencies and we encourage Appropriators to continue investing in restoration programs in the FY19 appropriations bills. Continued investment is the key to ensuring restoration work provides its full range of benefits to our communities, their local economies, and ecosystems.”

We thank the leadership in the House and Senate for removing poison pill policy riders that have no place in the appropriations process. Controversial legislation that rolls back environmental protections should be debated in a transparent process, not tucked away in a must-pass bill. We look forward to the FY18 Omnibus passing both chambers of Congress and being signed into law.


Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation.


For a PDF of the release, click here.

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Contact: Leigh Habegger, (703) 524-0248 or

Pallone introduces bill to create Living Shorelines grant program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) introduced the Living Shorelines Act, which creates a grant program to assist states, localities, and other organizations in constructing and monitoring living shorelines projects along their coastlines. Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) commends Congressman Pallone for his continued leadership on coastal restoration and especially living shorelines.

Living shorelines serve as a cost-efficient and extremely effective alternative to hardening our nation’s shorelines with bulkheads and sea walls. Instead of using inorganic materials like concrete, living shorelines incorporate natural materials like marsh plants, oysters, and dredged material to help restore damaged or destroyed coastal habitats. Living shorelines can better protect coastal communities in the face of extreme weather events and nuisance flooding alike. They also help prevent erosion and can improve water quality, providing numerous benefits to coastal communities.

Congressman Pallone has an impressive record of advocating for coastal restoration, especially after his district experience catastrophic losses after Hurricane Sandy. “Congressman Pallone has long been a champion for coastal restoration and we are thrilled to again see leadership to advocate on behalf of coastal communities for effective coastal restoration,” President and CEO, Jeff Benoit said. “We are pleased to support this bill and look forward to working with the Congressman and his staff on this legislation.”


Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995. RAE leads a national alliance of ten coastal conservation organizations across the country dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries as essential resources for our nation.