superstorm Sandy

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

RIPR FILE

The governor's name is misspelled on a new plaque celebrating Newport's historic Cliff Walk.  The plaque was unveiled during a ceremony Wednesday marking the reopening of the Cliff Walk after major repairs.

The walk’s three and a half miles have been opening in increments ever since it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The largest portion, two miles long, has now reopened. A smaller, less-traveled part will remain closed, likely reopening in mid-July. Newport received 5 million dollars in state and federal funds to make the repairs.

Rhode Island is receiving more federal funding to continue cleanup efforts started after Superstorm Sandy. The money will also be used to prepare the state for future storms and the effects climate change.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. 

Winnepaug Pond, behind Misquamicut Beach, has built up a lot of sediment over the course of 50 years or more, said Amy Grzybowski, Westerly’s director of planning, code enforcement, and grant administration. She said the town has wanted to dredge the pond for more than 10 years. 

Then, Superstorm Sandy dumped more sand, making it more shallow and warm.

RIPR FILE

The southernmost section of the Cliff Walk that was damaged last year by Superstorm Sandy is expected to reopen to the public this week.

The three-and-a-half mile trail was badly damaged in the storm. Cliff Walk Commission Chairman Robert B. Power said repairs will cost $3.5 million.

"It eroded a lot of the walkway near Ruggles Avenue which caused some of the sidewalk to cave in. It took a chunk of the actual stone out at Doris Duke’s estate which we had to go back and fill in. It tore a lot of the fencing behind Miramar," said Powers.

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