R.I. Infrastructure Bank Releases Resilient Rhody Three Year Impact Update Report
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank) released the Resilient Rhody 3 Year Impact Report detailing progress that has been made by state agency and municipal partners in turning the original 2018 Resilient Rhody report’s recommendations into concrete actions including infrastructure upgrades, coordinated planning, and financing of resilience projects.
Resilient Rhody 3 Year Impact Report highlights:
· 100% of municipalities have active Hazard Mitigation Plans or are updating their plans
· 20 municipalities have participated in the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP) since 2018
· 1,424 acres of open space and natural land preserved since 2018
· $19.5 million in new, dedicated funding to implement climate resilience projects
· 9 projects engineered through CRMC’s Shoreline Adaptation Inventory and Design Program
“Three years ago, a broad coalition of more than 50 stakeholders from state agencies, to municipalities, to non-profits came together to research and release Resilient Rhody. This was Rhode Island’s first comprehensive strategy on the impacts of climate change and actionable strategies to increase resilience in the face of threats to our infrastructure, environment, and public health,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO of the Infrastructure Bank. “Given the serious impacts identified in Resilient Rhody, allowing the report to gather dust on a shelf was simply not an option. Rather, as detailed in the Resilient Rhody 3 Year Impact Report, state agency and municipal partners have made real progress increasing resilience. For example, the Infrastructure Bank’s Municipal Resilience Program has worked with 20 municipalities who have participated in workshops led by The Nature Conservancy and the Bank to identify key projects. Through $2.5 million in action grants, we have helped municipal partners bring 22 projects to reality and mobilized an additional $6 million in funding for other resiliency projects like reducing stormwater runoff into Almy Pond in Newport, and constructing a bio-retention stormwater system to reduce flooding and minimize bacterial pollution in Warwick’s Greenwich Bay.”
“From sea level rise to increased flooding events, there is no question that Rhode Island is already feeling the impacts of climate change and that these impacts will only get worse if we fail to take action” said Terrence Gray, Acting Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM). “That is why RIDEM has been deeply engaged in resilience work since the release of the original Resilient Rhody report in 2018. For example, Resilient Rhody noted the vulnerability of many of our state’s wastewater treatment plants to flooding events that could overwhelm these systems and lead to sewage overflows into our streams, rivers, and Narragansett Bay. To address this, RIDEM led vulnerability assessments of all major treatment plants, and through our $5-million Wastewater Treatment Facility Resilience Fund we invested in hardening improvements at plants in East Greenwich and Woonsocket. This is just one of many actions taken by state agency partners that are detailed in the Resilient Rhody 3 Year Impact Report. While we collectively have much work left to do, we are making progress in ways both big and small towards building a more resilient Rhody.”
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About Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We leverage capital in a revolving fund to offer innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality-of-life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development, and enhance the environment. www.riib.org – Facebook: @RIinfrastructure – Twitter: @RI_InfraBank
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