Dealing with Climate Change and Preserving Our Natural Resources
Senator Reed understands that a clean environment is important to our state’s economy and Rhode Islanders’ health and quality of life. His conservation efforts have helped clean up and preserve Rhode Island’s open spaces, beaches, and waters, so future generations may appreciate the beauty of the state while living healthy, productive lives.
He also recognizes that our environment is under constant stress from a changing climate. Warming temperatures and weather volatility pose a threat to our environment, economy, and national security, and Senator Reed believes that part of our mitigation strategy must include a national energy policy that limits carbon pollution, focuses on the development of clean, renewable energy sources that create jobs, and holds big polluters accountable. He also believes that communities must take action to better adapt to a changing climate. This includes the increase in resilience of our critical infrastructure and emergency preparedness.
Reed chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, which writes the budget for several key environmental agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He has fought efforts to gut the Clean Air Act, rejecting harmful policy riders and deep funding cuts that would weaken the EPA’s ability to address climate change and fight pollution that threatens public health. Reed has also fought to maintain robust funding for the EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. These key federal programs help states finance priority water and wastewater construction projects that support jobs, improve water quality, and safeguard public health and the environment.
Reed has also been at the forefront of a national movement to reconnect kids with nature and strengthen environmental education in America's classrooms. He is the author of the No Child Left Inside Act, which would support outdoor learning activities for Rhode Island’s students.
Key Priorities & Accomplishments
- Reed has helped provide millions of dollars in federal Brownfields funding to support environmental cleanups and revitalize former industrial and commercial sites throughout the state, transforming them from abandoned and blighted properties into community assets.
- Senator Reed secured millions of dollars in federal funding for conservation projects to help preserve Rhode Island’s fish and wildlife populations, cultural heritage, and open spaces. Major projects included the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuges, as well as efforts to clean and preserve Narragansett Bay and Rocky Point.
- Reed secured $2 million to establish a Southern New England Estuaries Geographic Program within the EPA, which will provide grants to Rhode Island and Massachusetts stakeholders to work on priority watershed restoration projects.
- As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed secured $2.25 million in federal funds to contribute to the purchase and preservation of Rocky Point, in conjunction with the City of Warwick and the RI Department of Environmental Management.
- In 2013, Reed received a distinguished service award for his efforts to protect and restore Rhode Island’s estuaries and water resources. The award was presented by the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, Association of National Estuary Programs, Narragansett Bay Research Reserve, Save the Bay, and the RI Department of Environmental Management.
Read more by visiting Senator Reed's Working for RI page.