Sea-level Rise and Sewer Systems: Rhode Island Cities Unite to Resolve a Shared Obstacle

Dec 21

Sea-level Rise and Sewer Systems: Rhode Island Cities Unite to Resolve a Shared Obstacle

The Cities of North Providence and Johnston have come together for a common cause. The Sewer Infrastructures are in need of reassessments and improvement in order to rectify the dilemma of sea flooding issues, as well as basement backups. Both Cities are is in the process of evaluating the results of actions taken to address sewage overflows. Similarly, both are making water quality a priority in order to ensure the stability of the environment and how it affects their respective communities.  Each community has experienced a similar condition relating to their local sewer pipes. Currently, the main issue is sewer system overflows and strategies are being devised to overcome the problem. Several residential structures within Rhode Island’s 21 coastal communities are currently vulnerable to some level of flooding in the event of a 100-year storm, in the event of seven feet of sea level rise. Research shows that homes with basements have a significant issue as their boiler systems and hot water heaters are installed below ground level, where even a small amount of water can be problematic. Two-thirds of the homes evaluated in each community have basements, while only a small percentage are elevated. Building elevated structures will make neighborhoods safer when the risk of flooding occurs. The cities are also analyzing the layout of sewer lines, helping to determine the level of investment in infrastructure that should be made in what could eventually be part of a flood zone. And the extent of damage to any structure increases dramatically when higher seas are factored in. Studies have shown the number of buildings that would sustain 50 percent or greater damage more than quadruples with seven feet of sea level rise. The 50-percent gauge is noteworthy as any building with damage greater than that cannot simply be repaired but must be rebuilt in compliance with the latest building...

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University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Program

Dec 23

University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Program

The Rhode Island Sea Grant Program is a federal-state-university partnership, based at the University of Rhode Island, which designs and supports research, outreach, and education programs that foster coastal and marine stewardship. The Program focuses its efforts in two core thematic areas: Sustainable Coastal Communities & Ecosystems (SUCCESS) and Sustainable Fisheries. The SUCCESS Extension Program works to assist coastal communities with natural disaster preparedness, to help urban communities manage their coastal resources, and aid in the development of coastal and waterfront smart growth principles. The Sustainable Fisheries Extension Program conducts applied research on fisheries issues, engages stakeholders in fisheries management, and creates a neutral platform for discussing innovative fisheries management ideas. In addition to its Extension efforts, Sea Grant supports adult learning, as well as graduate and undergraduate education opportunities. The Sea Grant Program has also contributed to a major success story in the cod and haddock fisheries. Research sponsored by the two programs led to the development of the Eliminator Trawl—new gear that is extremely effective at reducing bycatch of cod, a fishery that has been overharvested, while allowing the capture of haddock, a recovered fishery. Use of the Eliminator Trawl nets has become widespread, boosting Northeast fishery economics by opening previously closed haddock areas and allowing further recovery of the cod fishery. Coming up in February: the Inner Space Center will open its door to the public to explore the latest deep-sea explorations, including ancient shipwreck artifacts from previous expeditions, and listen in as scientists make their next discoveries. This 45-minute tour of the Inner Space Center is designed for members of the public. The Inner Space Center is an international hub for ocean science exploration and education. These tours are offered on the first Tuesday of each month.  The cost is $5 per participant.  Space is limited to 20 people and reservations are...

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