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Welcome to the RI Department of Environmental Management web site.

Janet Coit

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Spotlight on Environmental Protection

DEM: September 1 West Nile/EEE Status Update

DEM announces that test results from the remaining 239 mosquito pools, or samples, from 45 traps set statewide on August 12 and August 17 are negative for both West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Results from 178 pools collected from 39 traps set on August 24 are pending at the Rhode Island State Health Laboratories. (More info)

Rhode Island Apple Harvest Day Event Set for Wednesday, September 2nd at Steere Orchard in Greenville

DEM's Division of Agriculture, in cooperation with the RI Fruit Growers Association, will host Rhode Island's apple harvest kick-off on Wednesday, September 2. The fourth Apple Harvest Day will focus attention on the state's apple industry and the fresh harvest at the time when many popular varieties of apples are ready for picking. (More info)

Conditional Shellfish Areas in Upper Narragansett Bay To Re-Open Four And One-Half Days Early As a Result of Acceptable Post-Storm Monitoring Data

DEM announces that the Conimicut Triangle conditional area in Upper Narragansett Bay will re-open to shellfishing beginning at sunrise on Saturday, August 29 - four and one-half days earlier than the scheduled opening at noon on September 2. The shellfish closure was enacted on Wednesday, August 26 as a result of rainfall recorded at NOAA's TF Green Airport weather station. (More info)

DEM Cautions Dog Owners to Be Alert For Signs of Parvovirus

DEM is alerting dog owners in the state of an unusually high number of cases of canine parvovirus being reported to the RI State Veterinarian's office. Canine parvovirus is required to be reported to the state veterinarian if the diagnosis is made in a dog that originated in an animal shelter, municipal pound, boarding kennel, or pet shop. Several municipal pounds and private veterinarians have reported parvovirus as well as members of the general public. Reports made by the general public are voluntary and are useful for disease surveillance purposes. The virus is considered to be always present in the environment; however, the high number of recently reported cases suggests that there is more of it going around than usual. The majority of the reported cases are in juvenile dogs that have not been vaccinated. (More info)

DEM Approves Plan to Repair Flat River Reservoir Dam

DEM has approved a plan submitted by the Quidnick Reservoir Company, owner of the Flat River Reservoir Dam in Coventry, to make repairs to the dam. The work involves repair of the dam's three low-level outlets. (More info)

DEM Asks Public to Notify Department If They Suspect Presence of Invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle

DEM is coordinating a public outreach program for the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). ALB is an invasive insect that came to the United States in wooden shipping crates from China and Korea more than 16 years ago. It affects hardwood shade trees such as maple, ash, birch, willow and elm by boring into the core of the tree and eventually killing it. This beetle has the potential of wiping out thousands of the state's trees if it goes undetected. (More info)

DEM, DOH Report Summer's First West Nile Virus Finding in Mosquitoes

DEM and the Department of Health reported (on August 19) that an August 12 sample of mosquitoes collected in the central area of North Kingstown has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). The mosquito is a species that can bite both birds and humans. These findings are expected for this time of year and there have been no reported human cases in Rhode Island this season. (More info)

DEM, RI DOH Confirm Rabies in a Skunk from South Kingstown

DEM and the Department of Health (RI DOH) are advising people who live near Roy Carpenter's Beach, South Kingstown, that a skunk in the area tested positive for rabies. The skunk attacked a person on Saturday, August 15. (More info)

RI DOH, DEM Issue Blue-Green Algae Advisories for Six Ponds

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH) and DEM have issued health advisories for six different ponds because of blue-green algae blooms; Warwick Pond in Warwick, Sisson Pond and Lawton Valley Reservoir in Portsmouth, Melville Pond in Portsmouth, Paradise Pond in Middletown, and Blackamore Pond in Cranston. Rhode Islanders are urged to avoid recreational activities in these bodies of water. (More info)

DEM and Arbor Day Foundation Announce New RI Energy Saving Trees Program

DEM, through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the RI Tree Council and the RI Nursery and Landscape Association, will be providing 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island homeowners this fall. (More info)

DEM, Health Advise the Public to Avoid Contact With Meshanticut Brook in Cranston Following Pump Station Failure

DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health are advising the public to avoid contact with Meshanticut Brook in Cranston following a pump station failure at the Cranston Wastewater Treatment Facility's (WWTF) Sherman Avenue Pump Station located at 90 Sherman Avenue. An estimated 30,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the brook as a result of the pump station failure, which took place August 14 at 7 a.m. (More info)

Conditional Shellfish Areas in Upper Narragansett Bay to Re-Open Three and One-Half Days Early as a Result of Acceptable Post-Storm Monitoring Data

DEM announces that Conditional Areas A and B, along with the Conimicut Triangle in Upper Narragansett Bay, will re-open to shellfishing beginning at sunrise on Saturday, August 8 - three and one-half days earlier than the scheduled opening at noon on August 11. (More info)

DEM Asks Poultry Owners to Assist in Preparations for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

DEM is requesting all poultry owners to assist in preparations for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Although the disease has not been found in Rhode Island, DEM is taking steps now to control HPAI should it spread to the Ocean State. (More info)

DEM's Division of Forest Environment Producing Wildfire Training Videos in Initiative to Provide Wild Land Fire Training to Rural Fire Departments

DEM's Division of Forest Environment is kicking off a new educational project this summer. By leveraging grant funding from the US Forest Service with local matching funds from the RI State Firefighter's League, along with assistance from the Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission, DEM forest rangers are filming and producing a series of wildfire training videos for release on the Division's Facebook page. (More info)

Raimondo Signs An Act to Protect the Environment and Support Economic Development

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today hosted a bill signing ceremony, to mark the passage of legislation that protects the environment and supports job growth by streamlining wetlands permitting. (More info)

DEM Monitoring Fish Kill in the Seekonk and Providence Rivers

Scientists from DEM are monitoring a large fish kill of adult menhaden in the Seekonk and Providence Rivers. Based on field observations and water quality measurements, the ongoing incident is being caused by low oxygen levels in the bottom waters. (More info)

DEM, URI Graduate School of Oceanography Scientists Announce Likely Explanation for Salty Brine State Beach Incident

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and DEM Director Janet Coit today praised scientists from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO) for determining the cause of the July 11 combustion incident at Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett... It is very likely the incident was caused by the combustion of a build-up of hydrogen gas in the beach sand, due to the corrosion of an abandoned copper cable that was previously used by the United States Coast Guard. (More info)

Raimondo Moves to Protect the Environment, Puts People Back to Work

Governor Gina M. Raimondo today marked the passage of legislation to protect our water supplies and put people back to work with a ceremonial bill signing at the Save the Bay Center. (H 5668 and S 369) Many Rhode Island homes have outdated underground wastewater systems. These systems, often cesspools, are inefficient and ineffective and contribute to public health and environmental hazards. This legislation replaces outdated systems at the point of sale and improves neighborhoods and local infrastructure. (More info)

New!!! RI DEM Blue Card Testing and Certification Now Available at the DEM Office of Customer and Technical Assistance Located in Providence

DEM announces that the State's Pistol Revolver Test and Certification, otherwise known as the "Blue Card", will now be available at the Office of Customer and Technical Assistance, DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI. The office is located on the second floor at the Beach Street entrance Suite 260. (More info)

DEM Cautions the Public That Fawns Are Not Abandoned and Should Be Left Alone

According to wildlife biologists at DEM, white-tailed deer give birth to fawns during the months of May and June. Each year DEM receives many calls about fawns being abandoned by their mother. This is almost never the case and most of these fawns seen are not abandoned. (More info)

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