EMPACT Project for Narragansett Bay / Mount Hope Bay, Providence, Rhode Island / Fall River, Massachusetts

EPA Grant Number: R827969
Title: EMPACT Project for Narragansett Bay / Mount Hope Bay, Providence, Rhode Island / Fall River, Massachusetts
Investigators: Pavignano, Sharon L. , Deacutis, Christopher , Galagan, Christopher , Hickox, Sara C. , Howes, Brian , Howlett, Eoin , Kester, Dana , Mariscal, Juan , Rines, Henry , Scowcroft, Gail A. , Sullivan, Terry
Current Investigators: Pavignano, Sharon L. , Deacutis, Christopher , Ellis, Taylor , Galagan, Christopher , Hickox, Sara C. , Howes, Brian , Howlett, Eoin , Kester, Dana , Mariscal, Juan , Rines, Henry , Scowcroft, Gail A. , Sullivan, Terry , Szelag, Jan
Institution: The Narragansett Bay Commission , University of Rhode Island
Current Institution: The Narragansett Bay Commission , Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management , University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth , University of Rhode Island
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period:    
Project Amount: $635,648
RFA: Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Statistics , Water , Ecosystems , Air , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration


This project will provide the public with timely information about water quality in the Narragansett Bay and its tributaries and the effects of natural and man-made influences on the Bay. This project will extend the water quality study of Narragansett Bay into the urban estuaries of the Providence - Warwick - Fall River metropolitan areas. Objectives are to provide the public with a new means of access to information about water quality, to compile new information about water quality and to provide information about the natural and human-induced processes that affect water quality in the urban areas.


The project will monitor water quality parameters and develop a web site to deliver data to the public in addition to using existing communications and outreach programs to disseminate the data through public displays, teacher training, and programs with community groups. The project will include both monitoring and public reporting on a wide range of water quality data. Sophisticated instruments will be used to measure water parameters. This information will form the basis of making students and the general public aware of their water environment. Outreach will include a web site, presentations to community groups, interaction with the schools, use of the print media, and public displays and events.

The local communities use the Bay for sport and commercial fishing, shell fishing, boating, and swimming. All these activities are dependent on the overall quality of the Bay ecosystem and its waters. In this EMPACT project the Bay Commission will work with local educators (particularly at the K-12 level) to develop curricula on the importance of water quality for recreational and commercial uses. Students will have the opportunity to collect water quality samples for inclusion in the overall Bay water quality database, allowing for real-time monitoring and education.

Expected Results:

Biological and physical measurements in the water column will better characterize the processes responsible for the low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) events that adversely affect the quality and limit the use of these urban waters by the public. Sampling and analysis of water in the urban areas for fecal coliform bacteria will provide information upon which communities can make health and management decisions. The public will have access to real-time data on web sites. School children in the affected region will be involved through their teachers' participation in a teacher institute that will develop curricula based on this study. Mass media - print and electronic - will more broadly disseminate the results of this program.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, watershed, marine, estuary, ecology, hydrology, Rhode Island, EPA Region 1, New England., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Health, Geographic Area, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, State, Monitoring/Modeling, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Ecology and Ecosystems, genetic susceptability, EPA Region, Social Science, Ecological Indicators, aquatic ecosystem, EMPACT, environmental monitoring, fishing, Naragansett Bay, ecological exposure, monitoring, community-based approach, continuous measurement, urban estuaries, ecology, estuaries, watersheds, health risks, hypoxia, public reporting, children, community water quality information system, web site development, ecological impacts, community outreach, public access, water quality, recreatoinal water, outreach and education, public health alerts, public outreach, Rhode Island (RI), Mount Hope Bay, Region 1 , public beaches, real-time monitoring, educating school children

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • Final Report