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Warren, RI: Wenley Ferguson of Save The Bay worked closely with the Bristol County Water Authority to initiate the Kickemuit River restoration. For more information on this project, please reference the project highlight in the SWIG Updates section of this newsletter. Photo Credit: Restore America’s Estuaries.

Have a photo you want to submit? Submit your photos with a short caption and photo credit with permission of the photo owner to with the subject “SNEP Photo Submission.” Photos will be posted to the SNEP Photo Gallery on our website. Our favorite photo of the month will be featured in our next newsletter, so keep those submissions coming! Click to view the complete SNEP Media Gallery
Program Updates 
Year in Review: 2022 is Now Available. SNEP is a multi-faceted program with many key partners. We’re proud to present our third annual Year in Review summary document, Year in Review: 2022, which includes contributions from the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG) program, the SNEP Network, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program.
SNEP Equity Plan Now in Review. In response to a request from EPA Headquarters, SNEP was asked to develop an equity plan that details past performance on allocating funding to disadvantaged communities and lays out plans for implementing an equity strategy for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds. In the report, SNEP is committed to allocating a minimum of $6 million in funding to support disadvantaged communities, which represents 40% of the $15 million in BIL funds that SNEP will receive over five years (2022 – 2026). The equity plan is currently under review with EPA Headquarters; and will be made public as soon as possible.
RFP Informational Webinar Recording Soon to be Available on SNEP Website. On January 26, the SNEP Team hosted a virtual information session for those interested in applying to the 2023 Request for Applications for Rhode Island Decentralized Wastewater Improvement Grants. A recording will be made available and posted to the SNEP website.
Save the Date! On June 13, SNEP will host its next biennial Forum. The goal of the Forum is to engage with our community members and program partners through an introspective look at the work of SNEP to provide input on the work that our Program has completed, the work ongoing, and the work still to be done. Take the time to make your voice heard by joining us for this free event. Registration will open next month.
Upcoming Steering Committee Meetings. EPA will host two Steering Committee meetings this quarter. The first meeting was held on February 6 to provide an update on SNEP Network and SWIG activities. The second meeting will be held on February 27. Discussion topics across both meetings will include: FY23 budget allocation, news about the SNEP equity plan, and updates from our Monitoring and Ecosystem Services subcommittee chairs. Meeting notes will be posted to the SNEP website.
  Our Partners 

SNEP is proud to offer two subprograms: the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG) program and the SNEP Network, which specialize in and offer funding and technical assistance, respectively, throughout the SNEP region. For more information about these programs, please visit their websites by clicking the icons below.

In 2022, SWIG funded 11 high-impact ecological restoration projects throughout Southeast New England, totaling about $1.9 million in awards (see Year in Review: 2022 handout). SWIG’s federal dollars will be matched by more than $600,000 in non-federal match, yielding a total of more than $2.5 million to restore clean water, healthy watersheds and sustainable communities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
This year’s grants encompassed a variety of project types as diverse as a wastewater plan for a rural mill village in Chepachet, RI; a dam removal in Rhode Island’s Big River Management Area; removal of derelict fishing gear from the shores of Cuttyhunk Island; and an initiative to engage Fall River neighborhoods in managing an urban pond, parkland, and forest. The 2022 grant agreements are now in place, and the grantees are beginning their work; more than 80% of this funding will directly benefit environmental justice communities.
As we begin the new year, SWIG is preparing for its 2023 grant round. The SWIG 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released in February and is expected to award about $2.8 million throughout the region.
Check out SWIG’s New Annual Report!
For more information about the SWIG program, recently completed projects and 2022 awards, read the 2022 SWIG Year in Review report,
here. The page also provides a link to register to receive RFPs and updates, as well as much more information on the SWIG program and on individual projects.
SWIG Project Highlight: Kickemuit River Restoration
In 2021, SWIG awarded $80,000 to the Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) toward a project to remove two dams from the Kickemuit River in Warren, RI. This project is one of the most important efforts to restore coastal ecology and resilience currently underway in Southeast New England. While the demolition and reconstruction work will take place in Rhode Island, the project will restore significant estuarine habitats in Massachusetts, as well.
The Kickemuit River was an estuarine inlet in Upper Narragansett Bay until the early 20th Century, when it was dammed to create two water supply reservoirs. Today, the lower reservoir is separated from the tidal waters of Narragansett Bay only by the lower Kickemuit River Dam, while the upper dam divides the two reservoirs (
see map). Such coastal drinking-water reservoirs are uniquely vulnerable to storms and sea level rise, leading BCWA to make plans to abandon the reservoirs and remove the dams. The removal of the two dams will restore more than 50 acres of estuarine wetlands and more than 14 miles of riverine habitat for river herring, American shad, striped bass and other species. Equally important, the restoration will reduce road flooding in the area and restore water quality in Upper Narragansett Bay. Shallow, dammed impoundments like those created by the Kickemuit dams heat up in the summers, reducing dissolved oxygen and harming aquatic life just when seasonal biological activity is at its peak. By restoring natural, unimpeded flow to the river, the Kickemuit restoration will restore water quality and aquatic habitat both upstream and downstream of the dams. Most SWIG grants, like this one, confer multiple benefits to communities and ecosystems.
The SWIG grant is one important piece of a $2.5 million funding puzzle to complete this multi-year project. Conceptual design is complete; the SWIG grant is supporting engineering and permitting prior to construction. Many SWIG grants work in concert with other funding sources, catalyzing projects that are greater than the sum of their parts. With SWIG support, the Kickemuit River Restoration will greatly improve the SNEP region’s coastal resiliency, restoring aspects of our environment that are under assault from climate change.

SNEP Project Featured by Mass Audubon. The Mass Audubon Society was funded via a SNEP Watershed Implementation Grant (SWIG) award to restore salt marshes at the Great Neck and Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuaries in partnership with Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Save the Bay, the Town of Wareham, Wareham Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the Town of Dartmouth, and Bristol County Mosquito Control. For more information on the project,
please reference the following story map.

The Bylaw Review Tool featured in the American Planning Association (APA) MA Newsletter!

In January, the Massachusetts Chapter of the APA published an article highlighting the bylaw review tool. The tool can help municipalities reduce the negative impacts of climate change by guiding municipalities in comparing what is on the books with current best practices and identify opportunities to create change. Check out the full article! (Page 16) You can learn more about the Bylaw Review tool at

In Case You Missed It! The SNEP Network Buffer Restoration Guide

SNEP Network developed a web-based buffer restoration guide to assist public and private property owners in Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts who are interested in restoring and improving buffers along a river, pond, lake, or the coast. The guide highlights examples of buffer restoration and the SNEP communities that received landscape renderings of restored buffers. The Buffer Restoration Guide was developed by SNEP Network Partners Elizabeth Scott Consulting, Save the Bay, and project consultant, A TON. Visit the SNEP Network’s 
Buffer Restoration Guide website to learn more. 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

SNEP Ecosystem Services Subcommittee Meeting
February 9, 2023; 10:00a – 12:00p EST | Virtual
The SNEP Ecosystem Services subcommittee is scheduled to meet for their Quarter 2 discussion. The goal of the Ecosystem Services subcommittee is to define and quantify important ecosystem services to inform communities, increase community engagement and capacity; support ecosystem restoration and climate adaptation decisions; and provide a common language that promotes better understanding of the beneficial results of restoration at the community, ecosystem, or watershed scales. This meeting will build upon previous committee exercises on effective communication of ecosystem services of wetlands, particularly in brackish and freshwater systems.
Emerging Technologies Webinar: FocalPoint
February 13, 2023; 9:00a – 10:30a EST | Virtual
The SNEP Network is hosting a webinar on emerging stormwater technologies in Rhode Island. This webinar will provide an overview on the design, implementation, and maintenance of FocalPoint stormwater systems. FocalPoint is an online stormwater BMP that utilizes regionally acceptable vegetation planted in a high-flow rate biofiltration media layer that treats stormwater pollutants such as total suspended solids (TSS), nutrients, metals, and bacteria. The webinar is scheduled for February 13th from 9:00am-10:30am and is hosted by the SNEP Network and Stormwater Innovation Center.

Two-Part Workshop Series: Funding Nature Based Community Resilience in Southeastern Massachusetts
Part 1: February 15th, 12:00pm-1:00pm + 30 minute Q&A |Online Webinar
Part 2: February 28th, 9:30am – 12:30pm | @ Bridgewater State University

The SNEP Network is hosting a 2-part workshop series for municipalities (and non-profits working directly with communities to administer grants) with interest in applying for grants to support the implementation of nature-based water quality restoration and infrastructure projects that improve climate resilience in Southeastern Massachusetts. One of the challenges for communities working to improve community resilience to climate change impacts is identifying the appropriate funding mechanism to support projects and develop competitive grant applications. There are several funding programs available in Massachusetts for this work, many with a focus on nature-based solutions, but there is much confusion around the various opportunities and which projects are the best fit for each. Furthermore, once communities identify a grant program of interest, it is often difficult to navigate grant requirements and craft a competitive proposal. This workshop will highlight key grant programs available in Massachusetts and the priorities of each, in order to help identify the best program for a project and what makes a competitive application. 

Land to Sea Speaker Series: Stormwater Management at Public Boat Ramps
February 21, 2023; 6:30p – 7:30p EST | Virtual
The second virtual event in this series features Jordan Mora, who is a restoration ecologist with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC). Jordan will speak on experiences and lessons learned from two of APCC’s green stormwater infrastructure projects, including a project funded by SWIG. For an e-ticket to this free virtual event, please register online here.
SNEP Monitoring Subcommittee Meeting
March 22, 2023; 10:00a – 12:00p | Virtual
The SNEP Monitoring subcommittee is scheduled to meet for their Quarter 2 discussion. The goal of the Monitoring subcommittee is to 1) Investigate prospects to align and connect monitoring efforts; 2) identify gaps in regional monitoring, equity, and outreach efforts; and 3) contribute to increasing regional long-term monitoring capacity. Main agenda topics include discussion on the WQX data portal, updates on SNEP’s 2023-2024 contractor-supported monitoring plans, and a presentation on the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP).
Zosterapalooza XXXII
March 29, 2023 | Virtual
Zosterapalooza is an annual conference hosted by EPA marine biologist, Phil Colarusso. Each year, this all-day event highlights eelgrass research throughout New England and beyond. All are welcome to attend this free, informative, and engaging event. Please use the hyperlink provided to email Phil and ask to be added to the guest list.
13th National Monitoring Conference
April 24-28, 2023 | Hybrid
The National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) is hosting its thirteenth conference on water quality monitoring in Virginia Beach, VA. This conference provides opportunities for water stakeholders – federal, state, tribal and local water professionals, non-profits, academia, industry and water consultants, and volunteer and community scientists – to network, develop new skills and partnerships, and exchange information. The proposed sessions and a short description of each are available at
2023 Local Solutions: Climate Migration
May 16-17, 2023; Keene, NH | In-person
The goal of NOAA’s Climate adaptation partnerships (formerly RISA) is to build capacity for socially just and equitable migration and enhanced regional climate resilience. This event will be a culmination of the Northeast Safe and Thriving for All (NEST) project. Funded by the NOAA Climate Adaptation Partnerships (formerly RISA) program, the event will convene stakeholders working in the Northeast towards climate refugia that is resilient, revitalized, socially just, and decarbonized. This convening will kick-off in the early evening of May 16, 2023, with a Keynote Speaker in Keene, New Hampshire.
SNEP now has a new public calendar! Visit the Upcoming Events” tab on the SNEP website to learn more about public meetings and events hosted by SNEP, the Network, SWIG, and our Partners. You can even add events directly to your personal calendar!
New Funding Opportunities 

Upcoming SWIG RFP. SWIG will release its 2023 RFP in February and will host two virtual workshops for prospective applicants. To receive the RFP and register for the workshops, sign up for our mailing list here.
EPA has announced two new EPA grants programs open for applications:              
Applications are due April 10, 2023.  Please share this information with all interested parties.

The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is Seeking Proposals. The FY23 Buzzards Bay Watershed Infrastructure and CCMP Grant Support Program, with $769,339 in U.S. EPA funding available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), is now accepting proposals. Eligible projects must implement a recommendation in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) and be principally located within the Buzzards Bay watershed.
Employment Opportunity at the Waquoit Bay Reserve. The MA Department of Conservation and Recreation is recruiting for a full-time Forest and Park Supervisor III who will be responsible for leading facility maintenance and operations at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR). The Forest and Parks Supervisor is an integral member of the WBNERR team and works collaboratively with other Reserve staff to support the Reserve’s work in research, education, training, and stewardship, and in serving as a state Park. The full job description and application can be found at:
The MA Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) is hiring a social media and outreach coordinator! This position will play a critical role within DER, strengthening and expanding the Division’s communications and outreach capabilities to communicate the value of DER’s ecological restoration work and to build public support for ecological restoration. If you know anyone who may be interested, please pass this posting on to them—we’re hoping to share broadly!
More information and instructions to apply can be found at
Looking for funding resources, but not sure where to start? Have a funding opportunity that you want to better distribute and advertise? Check out EPA’s Water Finance Clearinghouse! The Clearinghouse was developed by EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, an information and assistance center identifying water infrastructure financing approaches that help communities reach their public health and environmental goals.
SNEP Reads
Have an idea for a story or something you’d like to see in our newsletter? Contact our Communications Coordinator, Adam Reilly at
About the Program
The Southeast New England Program (SNEP) is an EPA geographic program designed to foster collaboration among regional partners across southeast New England’s coastal watersheds; to support a resilient ecosystem of safe and healthy water, thriving watersheds and natural lands, and sustainable communities by sharing knowledge and resources, promoting innovative approaches, and leveraging economic and environmental investments to meet the needs of current and future generations.

SNEP Newsletter Subscription
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Program Contacts

Ian Dombroski
SNEP Coordinator,
EPA New England

Adam Reilly
SNEP Communications Coordinator 
EPA New England 

Martha Sheils
Director of the SNEP Network
New England Environmental Finance Center

Tom Ardito
Director of the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants program
Restore America's Estuaries

For additional information:  
EPA's Southeast New England Program (SNEP)
SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG)
SNEP Network
Copyright © 2023 Southeast New England Program, All rights reserved.

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