South Kingstown, RI. – August 26, 2020 -- Today, the Town of South Kingstown and Friends of Green Hill Pond (FGHP) are announcing the start of a project to improve water quality in Green Hill Pond through treatment of stormwater runoff. Green Hill Pond has been closed to shellfishing since 1994 due to high bacteria levels. Storm water runoff has been identified by the RI Department of Environmental Management as the means of bacteria source conveyance to Green Hill Pond.
We are thrilled that today this project received a $100,000 watershed grant from the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Watershed Grants. This is a true public/private partnership. In addition to the SNEP grant, the Town of South Kingstown and Friends of Green Hill Pond (FGHP) have committed an additional $74,750 in matching funds to provide $174,750 for this project. South Kingstown and FGHP will also be working together on the project itself, especially during the assessment phase. A watershed-scale assessment will identify and prioritize sites for green infrastructure stormwater treatment. Design and permitting will be completed for as many priority sites as possible within funding constraints. The goal is removing a minimum 85% bacteria and 55% nitrogen at each site. So, the more sites that can be funded, the greater the overall impact in reducing pollutant loading to the Pond.
“Despite many prior efforts, little progress has been made to address the longstanding bacteria and nitrogen problems that damage the ecology of this beautiful estuary”, said Friends of Green Hill Pond President, Dennis Bowman. “Our mutual goal with South Kingstown is to drive concrete actions that make a significant difference in the health of Green Hill Pond.”
“This project is the first step in treating sources of bacteria before they reach Green Hill Pond and its tributaries. We need to take a multi-faceted approach to improving water quality in the pond. Management of natural sources, elimination of cesspools, timely street sweeping and maintenance of stormwater infrastructure all help get us closer to our goal.” said Robert C. Zarnetske, Town Manager.