May 13, 2011

Whitehouse Highlights Oceans Legislation at East Providence Facility Working to Keep Bay Clean

RI Senator Introduced Bill to Protect Oceans and Coastal Jobs

East Providence, RI – With our world’s oceans, and the millions of jobs they support, under constant threats from pollution, overuse, and climate change, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today visited a facility in East Providence working to reduce water pollution into Narragansett Bay and other Rhode Island coastal waters. During the tour of the Narragansett Bay Commission’s (NBC) Bucklin Point facility, Whitehouse discussed legislation he introduced yesterday which would support research, pollution reduction, and protection efforts by NBC and other Rhode Island organizations.

“In Rhode Island, the strength of our economy is tied to the health of our oceans and coasts,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I’m fighting to protect these vital resources and the research, tourism, and fishing jobs they support.”

According to the National Ocean Policy Coalition, coastal and marine waters support millions of jobs nationwide.

Whitehouse’s bipartisan legislation, which is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would create a National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes to provide reliable funding for research and preservation efforts. Funding from the legislation could support research, pollution reduction, and protection efforts by the Narragansett Bay Commission and other Rhode Island organizations.

Joining Whitehouse today were Ray Marshall, Executive Director of NBC, as well as representatives from Save The Bay, the Coastal Resources Management Council, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Nature Conservancy, URI Coastal Institute, RI Sea Grant, RI Sea Grant Advisory Council, Center for Marine Life Science, CRMC, Natural Resource Conservation Service, NRCS, and the Narragansett Bay National Estuary Program.

“We are honored to have Senator Whitehouse at the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility,” said Marshall. “We know that we serve as the last line of defense for our bays and oceans for point source water pollution and it is very exciting to explore green technologies that will help us meet our clean water goals. We appreciate Senator Whitehouse’s energy and enthusiasm for clean water, not only in Rhode Island, but throughout the country.”

Last month Whitehouse unveiled a series of “green jobs” initiatives for Rhode Island. The National Endowment for the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes Act is the first of these legislative initiatives to be formally introduced this year. The full list of proposals is available at

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921