State of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch
Rhode Island Airport Corporation
Natural Resource Conservation Service
In Nov of 2015 we started a neighborhood environmental group called Friends of Warwick Ponds. The group was organized due to a Cyanobacteria Algae Bloom that required the RIDOH to issue a health alert to avoid all contact with the water in Warwick Pond. The event has re-occurred again in Aug 2016.
On October 20th 2016 we held our 12th monthly meeting spanning 1 year. Below is the list of our accomplishments over that time period.
Dec 2015, FOWPS met with Mayor Avedisian, and his staff. We presented our case and what we thought needed to be put in place going forward to protect the environment, and Warwick Pond. All at the meeting seemed to be receptive, and agreeable. At the end of our meeting the Mayor was going right into a meeting with DEM Director Janet Coit to discuss environmental compliance issues involving the city. We would like to think that our meeting with the Mayor had a positive impact for his meeting with DEM, and helped forge the Consent Agreement between them.
Jan 2016, we met with Kelly Fredericks, CEO of RIAC and his staff. We presented ourselves as neighbors with the focus being the future and not the past. The acting CEO, Peter Frazier attended one of our monthly meetings and made significant positive contributions by offering suggestions for where the city could obtain resources to complete technical tasks such as GIS.
Jan 2016, we met with our representative, Councilman Solomon. We discussed the issues involving water quality that would need his support such as ordinances, resolutions, etc. He has been very supportive.
Feb 2016, we met with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Managements Director Janet Coit and her water quality staff with Director Scott from the Rhode Island Department of Health in attendance. We had an opportunity to express our views on the water quality issues that surrounded Warwick Pond. She and her staff were very receptive, and responsive. We would like to think that this meeting was a motivating factor in implementing the Consent Agreement between the City, and DEM that brings the city in regulatory compliance with its NS4 permit, and the completion of recommendations from past TMDL studies.
March 2016, as part of our environmental outreach program, FOWPS in collaboration with Save the Bay delivered to the public a presentation to learn about rain gardens, native plants, and eco-friendly tips for your backyard.
May 2016, we requested, and received an additional $1400 in the 2017 Warwick budget for water quality sampling of tributaries located upstream of Warwick Pond that flow into the pond. We are in the process of identifying suitable locations, and volunteers needed to sample
June 2016, as part of our environmental outreach program, FOWPS designed, produced, and distributed door hangers. They contained important environmental information for residents on being good stewards of water quality.
July 2016, FOWPS has implemented a follow-up program for the actions that are scheduled for completion by the Warwick Dept of Public Works that are part of the Consent Agreement between the City of Warwick, and Rhode Island Dept of Environmental Management. We identify the action, completion date, and e-mail to the DPW asking if the item is on schedule, and if not can the FOWPS be of assistance.
July 2016, to raise awareness of the water quality issues facing Warwick Pond, FOWPS organized, executed a Pontoon Palooza. It was a procession of all size and type boats parading around the pond followed by a picnic at a member’s home.
July 2016, FOWPS volunteers monitor the Staff Gauge located on the bridge at Lake Shore Dr. The readings are collected once a week and will be used to evaluate how Warwick Ponds Water Levels react to weather conditions such as precipitation, wind, and temperature. We estimate that in the past few years the water levels have risen as much as 18”.
Sept 2016, as part of our environmental outreach program FOWPS in collaboration with the Warwick Historical Society developed a PowerPoint presentation titled “The History of Warwick Pond and its Surrounding Neighborhoods”. Warwick Historian Henry A.L. Brown delivered the presentation before an audience of over 100 people.
Oct 2016, FOWPS volunteers met with the City of Warwick Dept. of Public Works. The meetings are scheduled monthly. The items being discussed are: Adding Pick up After your pet stations at Stanmore Park, Adopt a storm drain, communicate environmental information to the public using water/sewer bills, install bulletin boards at strategic locations for posting environmental notices, add environmental notices to the city calendar, evaluate new storm drain technology, and develop a program to distribute environmental best management practices to the public.
We believe that our first year has been very successful, and look forward to an even better year to come. We welcome more members to join us, and to participate in our many projects. If interested e-mail Philip D’Ercole firstname.lastname@example.org