URI to participate in Earth Day celebration in Washington Water quality programs honored

KINGSTON, R.I. — April 5, 2000 — The University of Rhode Island’s Cooperative Extension has been selected for inclusion in an exhibit of the nation’s best water quality programs at the Earth Day celebration on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on April 13. The exhibit is sponsored by the Agriculture-Earth Partnership and is part of a three-day Earth Day event designed to showcase innovative conservation successes offered by agricultural, environmental and conservation partners from throughout the country. URI is one of 14 partners chosen to exhibit. “We are very excited to have been selected to showcase our programs in Washington,” said Arthur Gold, director of URI’s Water Quality Programs, “because it demonstrates that we are a national leader in water quality protection efforts. Along with numerous volunteers and partners, we’ve developed programs that provide Rhode Islanders with the tools they need to help address their water quality concerns.” Among the programs which will be highlighted in URI’s exhibit are: – Watershed Watch, the largest volunteer water quality monitoring program in the state, which has more than 250 volunteers monitoring 70 bodies of water each week. It is the source of more than 90 percent of the data collected about the quality of Rhode Island’s fresh water. – Home*A*Syst, a statewide voluntary residential pollution prevention program which trains citizens to identify environmental and health risks in and around the home and take actions to minimize those risks. – On-Site Wastewater Training Center, the premier research, training and demonstration program in the area for conventional and alternative septic system technologies. The Center provides training and technical assistance about onsite wastewater technologies to municipal officials, contractors, homeowners and regulatory agencies. – Municipal Watershed Training Program, which builds partnerships with local communities to help them achieve their water quality goals by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for local watershed management. More than 300,000 people are expected to participate in Earth Day activities on the National Mall. # # # For Information: Arthur Gold 874-2903, Todd McLeish 874-7892