Environment
2:35 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Sen. Whitehouse Introduces Legislation To Continue National Estuary Program

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation to re-authorize the National Estuary Program, which would benefit Narragansett Bay.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Credit RIPR File

The program was first established in 1987 by the late Republican Senator John Chafee. It aimed to protect and restore estuaries from pollution and overdevelopment. An estuary is the area where fresh water meets the ocean.

The program, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, expired in 2010. Whitehouse’s legislation would maintain money for this program at $35 million per year. Narragansett Bay was one of the six estuaries originally included in the program.

In a press release, Whitehouse highlighted the important role estuaries play as nurseries for fish, filters from polluted runoff, and buffers against winds and storm surges.