Sachuest Bay Project Updates
Town of Middletown
The Town of Middletown developed and advertised RFPs for three major engineering and construction contracts, and is in the process of selection and award. The Maidford River Watershed Assessment Project was awarded to Fuss & O’Neill, an established civil and environmental engineering firm. The kick-off meeting for the development of the Watershed Assessment was held with the Town, Fuss & O’Neill, and the RI Department of Environmental Management. Fuss & O’Neill has drafted a Quality Assurance Protection Plan (QAPP) for all data collection related to the assessment. The QAPP will be submitted to NFWF for review prior to any data collection. Fuss & O’Neill will also provide engineering support for road and culvert improvements under the grant. The environmental consulting firm, Horsley Witten Group, was selected to complete the Second Beach Surfer’s End Parking Lot BMP Design and Permitting. Proposals to design, permit and build the Second Beach Dune Restoration and Walkover Structures have been submitted to the Town of Middletown. The proposals were reviewed and the Town is currently in the process of re-scoping the project to include design and permit only. Construction will occur under a separate contract. Designs and shop drawings for culvert replacement at Maidford River and Paradise Avenue are complete. An abutter of this project has expressed concerns of potential impacts to his private property relating to additional water backing up on his property. This project is under review by consultants and the Town to ensure the best possible solution for all parties.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary
NBS retained Horsley Witten Group to complete its Invasive Species Management Plan. This Plan was completed in February 2015 and implementation is underway, with 11 acres of invasives removed. During the summer of 2014, 613 children ages 7 to 15 attended the NBS Coastal Watershed Program. Students learned about freshwater and saltwater sampling and testing, seining, species identification and watershed awareness programs. This winter NBS expanded its environmental education program and developed an environmental education curriculum for Newport County high schools. The curriculum consists of three stages in which students will learn about watersheds and human impacts to natural environments; how to define, describe and compare ecosystems, make hypotheses about the health of an ecosystem, collect and analyzing appropriate data; and plan and implement a service-learning project related to an environmental issue impacting their own community. Students will complete pre-tests to determine existing environmental knowledge. Their understanding of watersheds and the environment after completing this program will be assessed based on their service-learning projects.
Aquidneck Land Trust
The majority of ALT’s work on this project will occur once the Maidford River Watershed Assessment has been completed, as the Conservation Plan will be informed by the findings of the Watershed Assessment. ALT is in the process of preparing a Request for Proposals for a conservation planning consultant.
During this reporting period, ALT supported the project by reviewing the Watershed Assessment proposals; grant submissions to NFWF and sub-recipient agreements. ALT also hosted a symposium at Salve Regina University that focused on the Maidford River watershed and the work ALT is doing within the watershed to help protect conservation lands and improve corridors for native species. ALT has also presented to local high schools on land use impacts on the watershed.
Center For Ecosystem Restoration
CER worked with the Town of Middletown to finalize the scope of work, reporting metrics, and budget for the project, following the initial award by NFWF. CER worked with the Town and grant partners to develop and finalize subrecipient contracts, budgets, and reporting procedures for the grant.
CER is supporting the Town Engineering Department and Department of Public Works (DPW) in developing and awarding municipal subcontracts under the grant. CER assisted the Town staff in developing RFPs and selecting contractors for the Watershed Assessment, Surfer’s End BMP, and Second Beach Crossovers. CER has been working with the Town to begin work under the Watershed Assessment and to identify contract modifications for additional work under this project (road and parking lot improvements, study of Third Beach/ Maidford River crossing, etc.) CER is also supporting the Town in regulatory compliance under the grant, including meetings and discussions with RICRMC, RIDEM, Fuss & O’Neill and others regarding permitting and compliance needs related to the work funded under this project.
Thomas Ardito, Director
Center for Ecosystem Restoration
P.O. Box 476
Saunderstown, R.I. 02874
Dedicated to the restoration of America's ecosystems and communities.
A Project of Earth Island Institute
The Surfers End parking lot at Second Beach is one site slated for restoration under this project to improve stormwater management in Middletown.
Children learn about beach seining at Third Beach with the Norman Bird Sanctuary.
High school students learn about watersheds and the factors that impact healthy ecosystems with the Aquidneck Land Trust.