TIVERTON, RI - Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, leading environmental champions from the Nature Conservancy, the Tiverton Land Trust, the Peckham family, members of the Tiverton community, and the Department of Environmental Management to celebrate the preservation of one of the East Bay's most iconic coastal farms, Ferolbink Farm.
Thanks to a $4 million agreement developed through a public-private partnership, 140 of the 179-acre property adjacent to Fogland Marsh and the Sakonnet River will be protected from future development so that restoration work along the marsh and waterway can begin.
Funding for the preservation included $1.92 million that Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, helped secure; $1.1 million from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM); $773,500 from the Nature Conservancy & The Champlin Foundations; $110,000 from the Tiverton Land Trust; and $80,000 from the Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust.
"I am pleased to have secured vital funding to help preserve this pristine farmland for future generations of Rhode Islanders," stated Reed.
Ferolbink Farm is best known as a potato farm and provides exceptional views to passers-by on Route 77. Owner Jason Peckham grew the farm operation by assembling nearby farms with one that had been passed down in his family.
The adjacent marsh and tidal creek serve as an important refuge for birds, a critical buffer against storms, and are nursery areas for juvenile fish and other fauna. The Nature Conservancy will restore the native vegetation along Almy Creek, reducing nutrient flows into the estuary that can cause harmful algae blooms.
It also would ban election-related spending by companies that have received federal assistance, companies with more than 20 percent foreign ownership and those with large government contracts.