NEW: Fogarty, Keable Working with Save the Lakes
Friday, August 17, 2012
Sen. Paul W. Fogarty and Rep. Cale P. Keable met recently with Save the Lakes, a statewide coalition of lake associations and individuals interested in preserving Rhode Island’s lakes, to discuss proposals to improve protection for freshwater bodies.
The lawmakers met with representatives of the group earlier this month, and among the ideas raised were the creation of a program or a position within the state Department of Environmental Management dedicated to freshwater body preservation. In particular, the group would like such a program to address aquatic invasive plant species and water quality concerns. Save the Lakes formed in 2008 in large part as a response to an onslaught of invasive plants in local lakes, including some in northern Rhode Island.
“Invasive plants have been a major problem in many lakes around the state, and while it’s wonderful that many activists have worked on their own and with the government to spread awareness of invasive species and educate people on how to prevent contamination, DEM should have a person devoted just to lake protection,” said Senator Fogarty (D-Dist. 23, Glocester, Burrillville, North Smithfield.)
Said Representative Keable (D-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester), “Freshwater lakes and streams are an important part of the Ocean State’s environment and economy, particularly in the northern part of the state. We all have an interest in making sure they are protected. We should be deliberate in our effort to preserve our freshwater assets so that we can continue to benefit from them for decades to come.”
Senator Fogarty has forwarded the request to the governor’s office, and the lawmakers hope that some federal funding might be identified to help the state fund such a program in these austere times.
The legislators also applauded the progress of a program developed by Save the Lakes and DEM to identify invasive plant materials on boats as they enter and leave fresh water lakes and ponds, and offered their encouragement and assistance to improve that program.
Senator Fogarty and Representative Keable, whose districts include several large lakes as well as a multitude of smaller lakes and ponds, said they strongly support Save the Lakes’ proposals, and will help work with state and federal officials to help bring them to fruition.
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