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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Narragansett Bay

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Summary Information

Year Established: 1987
Location: Rhode Island, Massachusetts
Area of Watershed: 4,674 square kilometers

Priority Management Issues:
habitat loss/alteration
fisheries loss/ decline
conventional pollutants
human population growth
species loss/decline
introduced/pest species

Major Habitat Types:
submerged aquatic vegetation (sea grass)
lagoon/shallow open water
shellfish growing areas
beach/dune (bare and vegetated)
sand/mud/salt flats
tidal pools
salt/brackish marsh
freshwater marsh (tidal and non-tidal)
forested wetland
seasonal wetland
salt ponds
riparian/riverine (forested and tidal)

Federally Endangered or Threatened Species:
Kemp's ridley sea turtle

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Overviews and Highlights

Narragansett Bay is the center of industrial activity in Rhode Island and, therefore, receives a great quantity of pollutants. In addition, pollution from highly industrialized areas in Massachusetts is washed into rivers that flow into the bay. To help companies reduce the amount of toxic contaminants they discharge into these waters, the Narragansett Bay NEP established the Hazardous Waste Reduction Project (HWRP). Under this project, companies could request a technical assessment of practices generating hazardous waste. Assessment teams inspected companies' industrial processes to identify possible areas where hazardous waste production or discharges could be reduced. These teams also evaluated the most practical and cost-effective methods of incorporating waste reduction teams. The success of this project has led the State of Rhode Island to establish a permanent Hazardous Waste Reduction Program as well as a hazardous waste collection facility.

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