Our Work in Rhode Island
People travel from all over the world to explore Rhode Island’s history, sail its waters, and enjoy its beaches. These attributes make the state a unique and wonderful place to live and visit.
Rhode Island has always relied heavily on its natural resources to drive its economy: It was the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and home to mill towns that were once textile-manufacturing capitals of the world. But as our population grows, Rhode Island faces challenges to maintain that natural capital in the face of threats to ecosystem health and water and air quality.
Rhode Island’s waterways and coastline are critically linked to the health of our economy. In the interest of protecting those resources, CLF played a leadership role in developing the Ocean State’s first comprehensive ocean management plan (known as the Ocean SAMP), designed to balance ecosystem protection with responsible ocean uses. As a result of CLF’s efforts, Rhode Island agreed to designate sensitive habitat areas worthy of special protection and established a Habitat Advisory Board that will give input on offshore permitting decisions. Our work in Rhode Island’s fresh water bodies has enforced the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution from sewage treatment plants and sources of stormwater runoff.
CLF has a legacy in Rhode Island of blocking construction of pollution-causing coal plants and other energy generation that harms the climate and public health. Today, Rhode Island is ripe for clean energy development to help meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals established in our state climate action plan. With abundant wind resources off our shores, Rhode Island has attracted wind developers to build here. However, getting policy right for these kinds of projects is critical to building a strong renewable energy industry and clean energy economy. CLF is advocating for clear and fair regulatory structure that creates a level playing field for developers and facilitates renewable energy development of all kinds.
Protecting Rhode Island from the effects of climate change also means tackling emissions from cars and trucks, the largest and fastest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the state. CLF is working to make the state’s transportation system cleaner, more affordable, and more accessible, improving public health and well-being. A state senate study commission – created by legislation written by CLF staff – is examining new funding sources to expand transportation options.
Day in day out, CLF is protecting our Rhode Island by overcoming our region’s greatest environmental obstacles.
55 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
Tricia K. Jedele
VP and Director