EducationOne of the main components of the Narragansett Bay Commission's mission is "To maintain a leadership role in the protection and enhancement of water quality in Narragansett Bay and its tributaries." We think that one of the best ways to provide for the ongoing protection and enhancement of our waters is to support environmental education for everyone from pre-schoolers to adults.

From classroom programs, to scholarships, to free community lectures, the NBC continually strives to open doors through which curious minds can enter to explore the wonders of Narragansett Bay.

Clean Water Act

In 1972, in response to growing public concern over the declining health of America’s waters, Congress enacted comprehensive national legislation for water pollution control, called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. In 1977, the Clean Water Act was amended to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, setting the basic structure for regulating polluted discharges from industries and sewer treatment plants to national waterways. The Clean Water Act sets national standards for pollution reduction and defines limits that must be achieved by the public’s wastewater treatment plants. According to the Clean Water Act, it is a national objective for rivers, lakes, bays, and other waterbodies throughout the country to be “fishable and swimmable.”

For centuries, Rhode Island has depended on Narragansett Bay as a resource for work and play. Over time, growth in population and industry resulted in an increase in pollution from sewage and other waste. In 1972, the federal Clean Water Act made a cleaner Narragansett Bay a local and national priority. The NBC and many other organizations and agencies are committed to restoring the health of Narragansett Bay through improved technology and conservation efforts.