Adquidneck Island Clean Water
Leveraging a strategy for water quality improvement
CLIENT | Lewis Family Conservation Foundation and Conservation Law Foundation
Tourism on Middletown, Rhode Island’s beaches on Aquidneck Island is important to thousands of people and hundreds of businesses. Yet Easton Beach has been repeatedly closed to recreational uses as a result of bacterial pollution from a local creek for over two decades. The solution is to reduce stormwater runoff in the watershed.
Improving water quality needs to transition from controlling sources of pollution from industries and major businesses, which has been largely successful, to controlling bacterial-laden runoff from streets, parking lots and lawns.
We have helped local citizens and state organizations in Rhode Island develop a “carrot and stick” strategy to create political momentum for fixing a persistent and harmful environmental problem that will not go away.
A multi-pronged approach to complex environmental issues can be successful by combining education of affected stakeholders with litigation to encourage political leaders to fix long standing problems.