Bay Assessment & Response Team - BART

or call the Bay Line: 222-8888 (May 15 to Oct. 15)

Bay Assessment & Response Team (BART) is part of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Its aim is rapid, effective response to environmental incidents on Narragansett Bay.

Narragansett Bay sustains much more than The Ocean State. Its riches are at once natural, recreational, aesthetic, cultural, economic, and spiritual.

But humans have been imperfect stewards. Support for that impression abounds in monitoring projects, like those that DEM has been conducting for decades. Other monitors – at every level of government, in business and volunteer organizations, researchers, residents, and visitors – also suggest the need for ever more effort to nurture the Bay and its watershed. Improvement requires broad, cooperative, sustained efforts.

Nevertheless, some threats to the Bay are urgent. For example, when a ship sinks or when downpours overwhelm a water treatment plant, the Bay suffers trauma. Sometimes, too, tiny threats subtly accumulate and then boldly surface. For example, a small shift in the weather can doom a suffering sector of the Bay's ecosystem: Dead fish or seaweed wash ashore; the sight and smell of them overwhelm the senses; swimming is restricted, and clam beds are closed; ordinary life along the coast is disrupted or worse. For such environmental incidents, BART is prepared to:

  • Receive reports
  • Assess impacts
  • Pursue appropriate remedies
  • Provide information and advice.

Also check out the RI Bays, Rivers and Watersheds Coordination Team website.