Friday, July 17, 2009

Bristol Marine joins Clean the Bay, RI DEM, NOAA, RIRRC and Save the Bay to clean up Narragansett Bay

On Monday, July 20 at 10:30 am (at Bristol Marine), Bristol Marine, RI DEM and Clean the Bay will be hosting Governor Donald Carcieri, Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Kennedy along with other federal, local and state officials as well as Jonathan Stone from Save the Bay to celebrate and announce continued grant money from NOAA toward cleaning up Narragansett Bay
The non profit group Clean the Bay has made Bristol their homeport (Have you noticed their landing craft in the harbor off State Street dock?).

Marine debris is a major problem along the shorelines, coastal waters, and estuaries of Narragansett Bay. Launched in August 2006, Project Clean Sweep is Rhode Island's largest effort to rid Narragansett Bay of marine debris. The project is a partnership between Clean the Bay, DEM, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), RIRRC (the RI landfill) and more recently Save the Bay.

There will be a first hand demonstration of Clean the Bay's specially equipped mechanized landing crafts which use an on-board crane to access the large debris on the shoreline.

Project Clean Sweep tackles marine debris on two fronts: Clean The Bay removes large debris, such as abandoned boats, docks, and pilings, by sea, using the 56-foot landing craft; and working in tandem, volunteers are mobilized/organized by Save the Bay to clean up the smaller debris along the same stretches of shoreline.

Since it began in August 2006, Clean the Bay has removed more than 588 tons of debris from nearly 120 miles of shoreline, and the project has involved some 3,662 volunteers.

The project has received strong support from Rhode Island’s congressional delegation and Governor Carcieri. The project also involves numerous partners from the public and private sectors. The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) allows all of the debris to be disposed of at the Central Landfill free of charge. The Coastal Resources Management Council provides permitting and technical assistance. Cities and towns bordering the State’s shoreline provide in-kind resources. And Bristol Marine has provided clean up bags for the shoreline clean ups.

Groups that have volunteered for shoreline clean ups include: students from Roger Williams, Johnson & Wales, and Brown universities; young people from the Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts of America, and Key Program, Inc.; members and employees of RI Bass Association, Old Navy and KPMG, Inc. Save the Bay and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island have also contributed significantly by organizing extensive clean up initiatives along the shoreline, the largest of which is Audubon’s annual International Coastal Clean Up.

The newly formed Board of Directors for Clean the Bay will be announced - many members are from the marine trades industry.

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