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News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462


For Release:

March 7, 2000

Contact:

Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

DEM, NARROW RIVER PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION, TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING MARCH 16 ON RESTORING WATER QUALITY IN NARROW RIVER

PROVIDENCE -The Department of Environmental Management and the Narrow River Preservation Association will hold a public meeting in Narragansett on Thursday, March 16 to discuss strategies for restoring water quality in the Narrow River.

The Narrow River watershed comprises more than 8,000 acres within Narragansett, South Kingstown and North Kingstown. The river and its associated streams, brooks, and wetlands because they serve as important wildlife habitat and recreational resources are high priorities for restoration by DEM. Currently, the river consistently fails to meet state standards for fecal coliform bacteria. As a result, it is closed to shellfishing, and swimming in portions of the river is threatened.

DEM is developing a water quality restoration plan, also known as a Total Maximum Daily Loading (TMDL) plan, to reduce bacterial contamination in the river to acceptable levels. TMDLs, which are mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, establish the maximum pollutant load that a waterbody can assimilate and still meet water quality standards.

The department has assembled water quality data from previous studies of the Narrow River, reviewed land use in the watershed, and, over the past several months, collected water quality samples during both dry and wet weather conditions. At the March 16th meeting, DEM staff will discuss what is being done, and seek information from people familiar with the area to help identify potential sources of pollution in the watershed and realistic measures to reduce these sources.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, Coastal Institute Building Auditorium, located on South Ferry Road in Narragansett.


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