Yes on 3: 2018 Green Economy & Clean Water Bond

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The creation of the Providence Riverwalk was a state economic development project and the catalyst for development in downtown Providence. Yet, for twenty years, this scenic location has seen recommendations for dredging the downtown sections of the Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck and Providence Rivers go unrealized.

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Significant sections of the rivers from Waterplace Park to the Point Street Bridge are now impassable for boat traffic 50% of the time, and mud and debris are exposed at low tide. WaterFire is currently only able to operate at high tide, and with the added expense of closing the hurricane barrier. The unusually shallow water threatens the rivers’ ecosystem and increases the risk of flooding.

With the ongoing development of I-195 land and forthcoming construction of a new riverfront park and pedestrian bridge, dredging the rivers is a necessary statewide priority for economic development, climate resilience and environmental health.

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This November, The Providence Foundation is asking Rhode Islanders to vote YES on 3, the 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond. In addition to funding that benefits our state’s bikeways, open spaces and farmland, this bond will allocate $7 million for dredging sections of the Providence, Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck rivers in the vicinity of downtown Providence and Waterplace Park.

Once complete, these waterways will better support economic development, enhance tourism opportunities, and improve water depths for both recreation and climate resilience. By increasing the water depth, these waterways will encourage more water based activities and transportation.

We hope you’ll join the Providence Foundation in voting YES on 3 this November 6.

To learn more about this project, read Restoring the Providence River System, an op-ed in The Providence Journal written by Providence Foundation Chair Russell Carey, and WaterFire founder Barnaby Evans.

Kristin Crane