WASHINGTON, DC -- In an effort to help protect Rhode Island's costal habitats and estuarine ecosystems, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced over $2 million in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for two Ocean State conservation programs. The Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) will receive $1,481,000 million to help the state administer Rhode Island's Coastal Management Program, which works to preserve Rhode Island's coastal areas. The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR) will receive $555,000 to strengthen estuarine conservation, research, and education.

"I am pleased to have helped secure this federal funding to preserve and restore the Ocean State's waterways. I commend the staff of the Coastal Resources Management Council, the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Department of Environmental Management for their commitment to conserving our coastal habitats for future generations of Rhode Islanders," said Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, which provides funding for NOAA programs. "This money will help support these organizations' operational, research, and administrative costs so they can continue to carry out their missions and provide environmental stewardship of Rhode Island's coastal and marine resources. Our coastal habitats and estuaries are vital to protecting the environment and bolstering Rhode Island's economy."

Senator Reed has championed legislation, funding, and other initiatives to help preserve and protect the Narragansett Bay watershed. He wrote a letter on behalf of the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in July 2007 and has been supportive of CRMC and NBNERR throughout his career.

The Coastal Resources Management Council works to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible restore, coastal areas of the state. This Coastal Zone Management Administration award will provide ongoing support of coastal zone management permitting, planning, enforcement, federal consistency review and coordination, public outreach and education, and public rights-of-way designation.

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a vital component of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, which is responsible for preserving over 1 million acres of estuarine waters and adjacent upland habitats. The Narragansett Bay Reserve protects the areas of Prudence Island, Patience Island, Hope Island, and Dyer Island, collectively over 4,400 acres. This federal award will enable NBNERR to work toward its administrative, research, education, and stewardship goals to strengthen the protection and management of Rhode Island's estuarine ecosystems.