View this email in your browser

Happy New Year to Our SNEP Colleagues, Friends and Local Leaders

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! Before us is a year of “new” --- new vaccines, new Congress and new administration in Washington, D.C., and --- best of all --- hope and fresh ideas for addressing old and new problems. We in SNEP bring a renewed commitment to taking care of our region’s complex, vulnerable, and wonderful environment, and we promise to continue building resilient ecosystems and communities while hoping that we can once again meet face to face with our partners. 
We know we can do this. Even while the pandemic created huge hurdles to working together, EPA and our partners were able to advance several new activities and projects in the region, while continuing earlier efforts. When Senator Reed called for this program back in 2012, it was with the recognition that the coastal watersheds of southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island face common urgent environmental challenges. SNEP was created to lead a comprehensive regional policy coordination and outreach effort to restore these watersheds --- and so we have, using our unique role to share and apply innovative transferable solutions based on partners, policy, and science to the challenges of a changing world and climate.
Since SNEP’s inception in 2012…Keep reading

Not Stepping in the Same River Twice: Making Strides in Ecological Restoration through Dam Removal 

Dams are still prevalent throughout the United States, however, much of this infrastructure is aging beyond its usable life. Though beneficial in a few ways, dams can have significant adverse effects on local ecosystems, which has led to a trend of dam assessment, retirement, and removal in the SNEP region and throughout the United States.

Keep reading

Getting to Resilience: SNEP’s Strategic Plan for Restoration and Adaptation in Southeast Coastal New England

SNEP has drafted and finalized our Strategic Plan, which is now posted to our website. This Plan lays the groundwork for how our Program can achieve our vision of safe and healthy waters, thriving waters and natural lands, and sustainable communities throughout southeast New England by 2050. The Plan also involves detailed priority action for Phase I (2021 – 2025).

Keep reading

Project Spotlight

In this issue, we’re highlighting two SNEP-funded projects. The first, an ongoing flow-duration curve project that aims to assist municipalities in stormwater management and development planning, and another focused on mitigating nutrient pollution throughout Cape Cod in collaboration with the USGS. 

Flow Duration Curves: A New Model to Envision Healthy Watersheds and Resilient Communities

Urban landscapes can struggle with how to deal with stormwater. With so many paved surfaces, it’s already difficult to capture, store, treat, and, expel stormwater from city streets. Considering the trajectory of most urban populations, this is a problem that risks getting worse. Unmanaged stormwater can result in increased flooding to urban areas and decreased ecosystem health of nearby waterways due to contaminated runoff. A new project funded by SNEP aims to mitigate these risks by modeling projected stormwater flows and incorporating these models into future planning decisions to assist municipalities in the implementation of adaptive strategies such as those offered through green infrastructure.

Keep reading
Targeting Nitrogen Hotspots

The problem of nitrogen pollution throughout the SNEP region is multi-faceted. Active nitrogen has cumulative downstream effects that can lead to algal blooms, fish kills, and environments with too little oxygen to support healthy ecosystems. In addition to remediating these sources of nitrogen, part of the solution also involves trapping it after it is released. Active nitrogen can travel in groundwater – slow moving underground streams. In collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, SNEP is funding work throughout Cape Cod that aims to identify groundwater flows with high concentrations of nitrogen and remediating these areas by installing permeable barriers in the path of the groundwater flow, which convert active nitrogen to its inactive form as it passes through.

Keep reading


For this iteration of SNEP Chat, we interviewed our Program partners to discuss their programs, their proudest moments of 2020, and what they’re looking forward to most in 2021.
On The Horizon 
  • SNEP Watershed Grants is preparing to release its 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) early this year. In 2021, the program expects to award $1.79 million in competitive grants to restore clean water, healthy ecosystems and sustainable communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. The first step in the application process is a simple Letter of Intent. Visit to subscribe for updates and to receive the new RFP as soon as it's released.
  • In partnership with MassDEP, RIDEM, and EPA Region 1, the Network is accepting applications from the Blackstone and Ten-Mile River Watershed communities for a Tracking and Accounting pilot project. This pilot project involves capacity building for implementation of stormwater management strategies as well as tracking and accounting of pollutant reductions. More information of the application can be found at: 
In Case You Missed it
Looking Ahead, Looking Around
Worth a Read
Program Updates 
  • The SNEP 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan has been finalized and posted to our website. The Plan can be viewed here.
  • Last year, SNEP contracted foundational work for an integrated ecosystem services framework (IESF), with the aim to inform future ecosystem service
    valuation studies. The final report can be found here.

  • SNEP has recently prepared and submitted a requested report to Congress on the capacity building efforts of the SNEP Network. This report will be made public on the SNEP website within the next few weeks.
  • The SNEP Network recently completed the final session of the Wareham Leadership Exchange--a series where invited guests helped guide future redevelopment plans for Wareham Village by focusing on incorporating elements of climate resilience, stormwater management, and green infrastructure into design plans that are closely connected to economic development opportunities--and are currently drafting a report and developing case studies for discussions with town officials.
  • The Narragansett Bay National Estuary Program expect to release the first draft of the Blackstone River Watershed Needs Assessment in February. The next meeting of the project group is expected to take place in March 2021.
SNEP Newsletter Subscription
Did you receive this email from a colleague? To add yourself to the our mailing list for the SNEP newsletter, subscribe below:
About SNEP

The Southeast New England Program (SNEP) is supported by U.S. EPA to foster environmental action, collaboration, and innovation to protect and improve the health of the coastal watersheds of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Subscribe to our bi-monthly e-newsletter, SNEP News, or find us on Facebook for the latest information and to find out how you can be involved.

For additional information:  
EPA's Southeast New England Program Website
SNEP Grants
SNEP Network Website

Ian Dombroski
SNEP Coordinator,
EPA New England

Martha Sheils
SNEP Network
New England Environmental Finance Center

Tom Ardito
SNEP Grants Program Coordinator,
Restore America's Estuaries

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Southeast New England Program · 34 Bedford St · Portland, ME 04101-1909 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp