RWU’s Partnership with Narragansett Bay Estuary Program


Emily Dvareckas/The Hawks' Herald

RWU is the new host of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program. The program is dedicated to helping the Narragansett Bay.

Ocean preservation is coming closer to Roger Williams University in a decision announced via email on Sept. 28, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) has decided to partner with RWU.

The NBEP is an organization whose goal is to help protect and preserve Narragansett Bay, as well as its watersheds and wildlife. It also focuses on Little Narragansett Bay and the Rhode Island Coastal Ponds.

RWU is already a member of the NBEP’s Science Advisory Committee, but the NBEP has now made RWU its home effective Oct. 1.

RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis said RWU being NBEP’s new home will help “the Ocean State and southeastern Massachusetts lead the way in the blue economy.” Miaoulis also said this partnership will “enable greater collaboration on research and advocacy that align with both of our institutions’ missions.”

The news of the partnership between RWU and NBEP has reached all across the state. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said RWU will be a “terrific partnership for the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.” Whitehouse has also been a longtime supporter of NBEP’s major funding source, the National Estuaries Program.

Faculty on the RWU campus are also excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring, including Dean of the School of Social and Natural Sciences Benjamin Greenstein.
In an interview with the Hawks’ Herald, Greenstein said this partnership has been in the works for months, and that NBEP approached RWU about needing a new home.

Greenstein also said the NBEP “supports research that informs policy in the Narragansett Bay watershed,” and that the research is “very wide-ranging.”

One of the reasons Greenstein is so excited about this partnership is because it “expands disciplines even beyond the School of Natural Sciences,” citing the Maritime Affairs Institutional Law School as an example, as students in that discipline will be able to take part.

Greenstein also said one of the goals of the partnership with NBEP is to provide opportunities for students to get involved, regardless of their major. “The Estuary Program is basically all about community outreach…it’s about communities that have some kind of attachment and dependence on the Narragansett Bay watershed.”

One of the reasons Greenstein is so optimistic about RWU’s partnership with NBEP is because “it will allow students to connect knowing with doing.”

More information about the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program can be found on their website.