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Middletown, RI: Kate McPherson, Narragansett Bay Riverkeeper for Save The Bay, explains to a homeowner the benefits of allowing the natural area along the Maidford River to revegetate with trees and shrubs.  This effort was part of a neighborhood campaign to encourage property owners to rewild the portions of their property closest to the river for water quality improvement purposes. Photo credit: Save the Bay

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 

Join Us for the 2023 SNEP Forum! On June 13, the SNEP community is invited to join us in-person or virtually at the Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA. Registration is now open. The goal of the SNEP Forum is to engage with our community members and program partners to get their input on the future of SNEP and its funding priorities. We will share an in-depth look at the work that our Program has completed, the work ongoing, and the work still to be done. The Forum is designed to solicit community feedback on how SNEP, its partners, and program affiliates can most effectively reduce the environmental, social, and economic impacts of water pollution, lost or degraded habitat, and climate change through community-based action.
Submit Your Poster Abstracts for the SNEP Forum. If you are a current or former grant recipient of the Southeast New England Program, SNEP Network, SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants program, or a SNEP-supported award from the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program or the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, please consider submitting a poster abstract to present at the SNEP Forum on June 13. For more information, please visit the Forum website.
EPA-SNEP Announces $2.3M for Nature-based Solutions. We are excited to announce a new funding opportunity, the “SNEP 2023 Stormwater and Natural Infrastructure Grant” (EPA-I-R1-SNEP-2023B). Please see the Grant Opportunity Link for full opportunity details. Funding for this opportunity is being made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. SNEP anticipates awarding up to six (6) awards of $400,000-$600,000 each. Priority project topics can be found in Section I.C of the Request for Applications and include: stormwater infrastructure and roadway runoff; salt marsh; riparian areas, floodplain, and inland wetlands; habitat connectivity and aquatic organism passage; urban area resilience and habitat restoration; habitat monitoring; and municipal and tribal planning.
Important Dates:
  • 06/01/23 (12:30-2:00PM EST): Informational Webinar/Q&A (Webinar Details)
  • 06/23/23: Deadline to submit questions to SECoastalNE@EPA.GOV
  • 06/30/23: Deadline to submit applications
Regional Updates 

University of Connecticut Selected as a Technical Assistance Center to Help Communities Across New England Access Historic Investments to Advance Environmental Justice. EPA's Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers include a network of over 160 partners to provide resources to unlock access to President Biden's historic investments in America. Read the press release here.

Innovative/Alternative (I/A) Septic Systems Presentation - During the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) Annual Conference in January, Brian Baumgaertel, Scott Horsley, and Bruce Walton presented an update on the status of  nitrogen-reducing I/A septic systems. The posted presentation includes speaker notes and Q&A.

NEWEA Journal Article on I/A System Collaboration – Published in January, the article covers task force activities and delves into the funding and financing required to bring I/A septic systems successfully to market as a “tool in the toolbox”.

  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 April, the deadline closed for first-stage applications to 2023 SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG). The program received $10.6 million in requests for projects to restore clean water, healthy ecosystems, and sustainable communities throughout Southeast New England. To maximize accessibility of the program, SWIG uses a two-stage application process: a brief Letter of Intent (LOI), open to all eligible organizations, followed by an invited Full Proposal from selected LOI applicants. With $3 million in funding available for awards this year, the SWIG Application Review Committee (ARC) will then select the projects for which it will request a Full Proposal and, ultimately, select final awards. Earlier this year, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), which manages SWIG in partnership with EPA, expanded the ARC, which now has 20 members representing federal, state, and local government; non-profit organizations; private foundations and the private sector. RAE and EPA are confident that the breadth of experience and expertise on the ARC will ensure another set of robust SWIG grants in 2023, supporting the achievement of local priorities and regional goals throughout Southeast New England.

Program Highlight: Cuttyhunk Ghost Gear Removal by Center for Coastal Studies

Lobster traps loaded for removal from Cuttyhunk in April. Photo courtesy of Center for Coastal Studies.
Last year, SWIG awarded $55,000 to the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) for an innovative project to remove derelict fishing gear, or “ghost gear,” from the shores of Cuttyhunk, the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands, which lie southwest of Cape Cod between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound. Ghost gear is a harmful form of marine pollution as it can kill or injure marine life for many years after it’s been lost from the fishery. The project manager, Laura Ludwig of CCS, brought together Cuttyhunk residents, commercial fishermen, Massachusetts environmental police, and other partners to plan and organize the complex project, which used a drone to identify the cleanup areas and a landing craft barge to remove the waste.
Over the course of a week in April, the team convened on to execute the removal. About 30 people, including students from Cornell University, removed more than 3 tons of debris, including more than 700 lobster traps. Using ID tags on the traps, Ludwig was able to determine that some of them were lost more than 20 years ago. Her follow-up work will include data analysis to better understand sources and movement of marine debris in this part of the SNEP region.
The project team included artists who will now use some of the recovered material to raise awareness about marine pollution by creating art from it, which will be exhibited in New Bedford and on Cuttyhunk later this summer.

The project was covered in
an article by the New Bedford Standard Times and other media.

For more about the project and about the Center for Coastal Studies, see
CCS’s website here.

Maidford River Restoration Project Case Study: Collaborative Approach to Watershed Scale Restoration Using Nature-Based Solutions
Over the last 3.5 years, SNEP Network partners worked with the Town of Middletown, Rhode Island and the Aquidneck Land Trust to plan and design for nature-based solutions to reduce flooding and improve water quality of the Maidford River and downstream receiving waters which include two sources of Aquidneck Island’s water supply, Nelson, and Gardiners Ponds. Read more about the project’s key findings, lessons learned, and next steps of the project in the
SNEP Network’s Maidford River Case Study.
Making Space for Climate Resilience- A Capacity Assessment for Mansfield, MA.
SNEP Network partners worked closely with the Town of Mansfield to complete an inventory of stormwater and resilience planning initiatives. The assessment included an analysis of the challenges, responsibilities, and progress made towards climate resilience for each initiative. Read the
SNEP Network Narrative to learn more about the project and the key findings.
Completion of the SNEP Network’s Stormwater Planning Series
The SNEP Network graduated its second cohort of communities who participated in the SNEP Network Stormwater Planning Series. Participating communities included North Kingstown RI, Marion MA, Shrewsbury MA, and New Bedford MA in partnership with Groundworks Southcoast. Through a series of trainings, site visits, and homework assignments, communities learned how to develop a conceptual design for a nature-based stormwater retrofit option in their selected drainage area. To learn more about the Stormwater Planning Series, visit the SNEP Network website:
Bylaw training curriculum helps communities build local climate resilience
“Building Community Resilience Through Local Regulations” curriculum is now available! This curriculum guides a user through different components of improving climate resilience by using local regulations that support nature-based solutions, like low-impact development. The curriculum highlights the bylaw review tool designed to help communities assess local regulations with a conservation lens. This comprehensive curriculum was developed by SNEP Network Partners, Mass Audubon, Cape Cod Commission, Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District, and the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative along with partnering organizations, including Mass Rivers Alliance.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities

SNEP Ecosystem Services Subcommittee Meeting
May 11, 2023; 10a-12p | Virtual
The SNEP Ecosystem Services subcommittee will meet for their quarterly meeting to discuss planned research efforts for the next fiscal year.
2023 Local Solutions: Climate Migration
May 16-17, 2023; Keene, NH | In-person
The goal of NOAA’s Climate Adaptation Partnerships program (formerly Regional Integrated Science and Assessments) 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 project. Funded by the NOAA Climate Adaptation Partnerships 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.
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council and Farm Fresh Celebrate New Signage
May 23, 2023; 11a; Farm Fresh, Providence, RI | In-person
WRWC and Farm Fresh are teaming up to host a press event to celebrate the new signage and nature-based stormwater solutions recently installed at Farm Fresh's Headquarters on the corner of Sims and Kinsley Avenues in Providence, RI right next to the Woonasquatucket River. This effort was funded by the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants Program and additionally supported by the SNEP Pilot Watersheds Initiative. Speakers will include Senator Reed (RI), RI DOT Director Alviti; SWIG Director, Tom Ardito; Farm Fresh RI Executive Director, Jesse Rye, and WRWC Executive Director, Alicia Lehrer.
Interagency Ecological Restoration Quality Committee Monthly Webinar
May 25, 2023; 11a-12p | Virtual
The topic of this webinar is on fish and wildlife habitat restoration and long-term monitoring at a former petroleum storage and transfer facility in the Muskegon Lake area of concern in Michigan. This webinar is free and open to the public. Register with the link above.  

SNEP Forum
June 13, 2023; Fall River, MA | Hybrid
On June 13, SNEP will host its next biennial Forum at the Bristol Community College. The goal of the Forum is to engage with our community members and program partners through an introspective look at the work of SNEP; and to ask attendees to provide input on the work that our Program has completed, the work ongoing, and the work still to be done. Make your voice heard by joining us for this free event in Fall River, MA. Registration is now open.
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 and Career Opportunities 

Speak for the Trees is offering an exciting opportunity to work towards building tree equity in Boston. Speak for the Trees is hiring an Associate Director who will direct and oversee programs run by the organization [and help to] oversee the daily operations of projects, including developing new projects and refining current projects, establishing metrics for project assessment, facilitating collaboration across the organization, and ensuring that projects are on schedule and on budget. For more information, please visit the Speak for the Trees website.
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.

The SNEP Mailing address is:
EPA Region 1
5 Post Office sq.
Boston, MA 02109
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