Rhode Island College, Office of College Communications and Marketing, News Release


CONTACT:           Rebecca Keister, 401-456-4679, rkeister@ric.edu

Laura Hart, 401-456-8977, lhart@ric.edu

PROVIDENCE, R.I.– Rhode Island College’s spring 2014 Green Business Forum, “Combating the Effects of Stormwater Runoff,” focuses on the Narragansett Bay Commission Sewer Abatement Program’s efforts to protect Narragansett Bay by diverting untreated stormwater runoff flows.

Free and open to the public, the forum will be held Thursday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. in the Forman Center, Room C.

“The health of Narragansett Bay has a direct effect on the state’s economy,” said Jim Murphy, RIC sustainability coordinator, who added, “The forum will give businesses and individuals information about the project and how it will better Rhode Island’s communities and residents’ health.”

RIC’s Green Business Forum series is designed to provide conversations around the link between sustainability efforts and business best practices. The series is part of the college’s commitment to green initiatives and to exploring sustainability options with on- and off-campus partners.

“Each semester, the Green Business Forum provides a unique opportunity for business leaders and environmental agencies in Rhode Island to come together to share innovative best practices,” said Jen Giroux, interim associate vice president, RIC Office of Professional Studies and Continuing Education. “These forums provide a setting for rich discussions that move our collective work on creating a more environmentally healthy state forward.”

The spring 2014 forum welcomes Clayton Carlisle of the Louis Berger Group and Todd Moline of Gilbane/Jacob Associates, who is the assistant resident engineer on the project. Carlise and Moline will speak on the project’s goals and its current phase.

“We will discuss this multiyear program that will construct new sewer infrastructure, including a 250-foot deep, three-mile long tunnel in Providence that will prevent reduced water quality in Narragansett Bay,” Moline said.

Meg Kerr, an environmental scientist and consultant, will address the importance of a healthy watershed system and ways individuals and organizations can help absorb stormwater runoff.

The Narragansett Bay Commission Sewer Abatement Program is a three-phase project that began in 2001 to lessen the amount of untreated stormwater runoff deposited into Narragansett Bay.

The program is currently in phase II, which will connect more than a dozen combined sewer systems into a combined sewer overflow tunnel constructed in phase I. The tunnel receives runoff flows during storms, which are then treated to remove heavy solids and biological matter and to kill bacteria before being emptied into the Providence River.

Phase II of the project, projected to be completed in spring 2015, also will construct a wetlands treatment facility in Central Falls.

For more information on the forum and RIC’s sustainability programs, contact Jim Murphy at jmurphy2@ric.edu or at 456-8799, or visit www.ric.edu/green/index.php.

Established in Providence in 1854, Rhode Island College serves approximately 9,000 graduate and undergraduate students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Social Work, the School of Management and the School of Nursing. For more information, visit www.ric.edu.