2018 Green Economy & Clean Water Bond

The health and vitality of our lands, waters, and communities support our way of life and economy in Rhode Island. The proposed 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond invests $47.3 million in water quality, land cleanup, farmland, recreational facilities, and open space to ensure our state remains a wonderful place to live, visit, and raise a family.

GREEN ECONOMY: $18 Million

The value of Rhode Island’s network of historic parks, bikeways and open spaces goes beyond providing beautiful places and scenic greenways for public enjoyment. This network is an important contributor to the state’s economy and ability to attract people and businesses to Rhode Island. Each year, our parks delight millions of visitors and generate jobs and revenue that support state and local economies – while our farms support continued growth of the state’s vibrant food sector.

LOCAL RECREATION: $5 MILLION to create new and improve existing community parks and recreation facilities. Studies show access to green space improves health, promotes stronger social ties, and enhances neighborhood satisfaction and pride. Without exception, applications for funds for development of local recreational facilities historically have far exceeded available funds. View DEM's Local Recreation Grants page.

BIKEWAYS: $5 MILLION investment to expand and improve the state’s bikeway network, including the East Bay Bike Path, for bicyclists and pedestrians. There are more than 60 miles of bike paths in Rhode Island, supporting the use of nearly two million people each year. Learn more about Rhode Island's bikeways.

OPEN SPACE: $2 MILLION investment for the Open Space Grant program to support local land protection and conservation efforts of communities and non-profit organizations. Since 1985, over 10,000 acres of land have been protected in Rhode Island. A cohesive network of protected lands and habitat have economic, health, and recreational benefits for communities. View DEM's Open Space Grant page.

FARMLAND: $2 MILLION investment to preserve historic farmlands and put them within reach of farmers looking for land through the Farmland Access Program. Rhode Island has a thriving network of farmers and leads the nation in food-system planning and innovation – spurred on by a growing demand for fresh, locally grown food among consumers. Learn about Agriculture in Rhode Island.

BROWNFIELDS: $4 MILLION to clean up former industrial sites or “brownfields” through the Brownfields Remediation and Development Fund, so they may be returned to tax rolls, create jobs, and revitalize our neighborhoods. Since 1995, some 800 brownfields sites have been cleaned up with assistance from DEM and its partners. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 7.3 jobs are supported per $100,000 spent on brownfields redevelopment. Learn more about brownfields.

CLEAN WATER: $29.3 Million

COASTAL RESILIENCY & PUBLIC ACCESS: $5 MILLION for projects that improve Rhode Islanders’ access to our 400 miles of coastline. Investments will support efforts to reduce or eliminate flooding risk in coastal or inland areas and promote green infrastructure and climate resilience. 

CLEAN WATER & DRINKING WATER: $7.9 MILLION investment in the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) to improve the environmental quality of our state’s waters — including Narragansett Bay — create jobs, and make Rhode Island a better place to live, work, and play. These matching funds will unlock $35 million in federal funds over two years and an additional $150 - $200 million in private sector capital. The SRFs are co-managed by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, DEM, and Rhode Island Department of Health. DEM's State Revolving Fund page. Visit RIIB's Clean Water State Revolving Fund page.

PROVIDENCE RIVER DREDGING: $7 MILLION to repair and restore safe access to the Providence River and adjoining rivers including the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck. Over time, natural collection of sediment has reduced the rivers’ depth making navigation hazardous.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY RESILIENCE: $5 MILLION in matching grants will help ensure water quality by protecting wastewater treatment facilities from flooding and impacts of climate change identified in a recent vulnerability assessment. Together, Rhode Island’s 19 wastewater treatment facilities purify close to 100 million gallons of sewage each day. DEM study on the Implications of Climate Change for RI Wastewater Collection and Treatment Infrastructure

DAM SAFETY: $4.4 MILLION to repair or remove “high-hazard” state-owned dams. Rhode Island is experiencing 10 more inches of rainfall annually than in the 1940s, further stressing dam structures. The systematic repair or removal of these structures will protect lives and property from the effects of a catastrophic failure. View DEM's Dam Safety information.

2018 Grant Awards

Green Bond Webpages: