Narragansett Bay is New England’s largest estuary. The bay covers 147 square miles of scenic waterscape, is home to over forty islands, and serves as a natural harbor. While most of the bay is located in Rhode Island, 60 percent of its 1,853-square-mile watershed is in Massachusetts. The other 40 percent is in Rhode Island.
In 1987, Narragansett Bay was deemed an estuary of national significance in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program.
The Commission is honored to play the role of institutional “host” for the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program. Hosting is a particular relationship enjoyed by many national estuary programs and their hosting organizations. In that capacity, NEIWPCC manages the staff, participates in the Executive and Steering Committees, and performs other budgetary and grant-management tasks.
Narragansett Bay is threatened by land development, increasing populations, water pollution, species decline, and habitat loss and degradation.
The NBEP works to protect and restore clean water, fish, wildlife, and habitats; manage local land for conservation and for the community; and manage climate change impacts to the area’s natural systems. To continue progress toward these goals, key actions were documented in the 2012 revisions of the Program’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Narragansett Bay.
These priority actions include: