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.



Conservation Law Foundation | Conservation Media Group | Clean Water Action | Clean Ocean Access | Save the Bay | Green Infrastructure Alliance

For almost two decades Philip Conkling has served on the CLF Board and provided us with insightful and practical guidance and advice, both in his role as the leader of the Island Institute and in his current role as a valued consultant to both the private and the non-profit sectors. His writing and communication skillset are unparalleled and begin with actively listening to, and engaging with, the people and communities involved to get at the heart of an issue or problem and to devise a path forward that is strategic and pragmatic.
— Sean Mahoney | Executive Vice President and Director, Conservation Law Foundation