SNEP Network offers Southeast New England communities stormwater technical expertise

In an effort to promote climate resilience and advance stormwater management in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts, the Southeast New England Program Network (SNEP Network) is pleased to announce the award of direct technical assistance to twelve communities. “These awards demonstrate that despite shutdowns and other Covid-19 related difficulties and revenue shortfalls, communities remain committed to making environmental improvements. The SNEP Network technical assistance awards come at a critical time,” says Martha Sheils, Director of the SNEP Network. 

The SNEP Network offers technical assistance and training to communities across Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts to build local capacity and leverage sustainable financing approaches to more effectively manage stormwater and undertake watershed management interventions that build climate resilience.

“Southeast New England’s coastal economy depends upon clean water and healthy coastal systems to support water-dependent jobs, recreation, and tourism,” said EPA Region 1 Administrator Dennis Deziel. “As communities work to reopen businesses closed due to Covid-19, EPA is especially pleased to support the SNEP Network’s efforts to provide expert assistance to help a dozen communities take steps to protect and restore the water resources that maintain the economic and ecological vitality of the region.”  

The Rhode Island communities and organizations recently awarded services from the SNEP Network include the Towns of Portsmouth, Charlestown, Warren and Bristol, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, and Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council. Massachusetts towns and organizations include the Towns of Bourne, Wareham, and Mendon, the Pleasant Bay Alliance, Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District, and Mass Audubon. With SNEP Network assistance, these communities will advance their use of low impact development techniques, nature-based solutions, climate resiliency strategies, and sustainable financing approaches.

The SNEP Network, administered by the New England Environmental Finance Center at the University of Southern Maine, is a collaborative partnership of universities, non-profit organizations and others offering a wide range of technical assistance and training to advance stormwater and watershed management, and sustainable financing. For more information about the assistance, upcoming webinars, training and events, and resources, or to get in touch with us, visit the SNEP Network’s website at snepnetwork.org. The list of 2020 SNEP Network Call for Participants awards to communities is available at: http://snepnetwork.org/call-for-participants/.

The New England Environmental Finance Center is one of 10 university-based Environmental Finance Centers in the nation and serves the 6 New England states of EPA Region 1. Its mission is to build local community capacity to pay for the growing costs of protecting the environment and to be better prepared to manage the chronic and acute problems of environmental protection and finance. The New England Environmental Finance Center is based at the University of Southern Maine (USM), which is situated in Portland, Maine’s economic and cultural center. USM is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community.

The Southeast New England Network is funded by the US EPA and the Southeast New England Program under a Cooperative Agreement.

Media Contact: Martha Sheils, New England Environmental Finance Center Director, 207-288-8164 or martha.sheils@maine.edu.

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Photo credit: Save the Bay