Johnathan Berard - Rhode Island Director

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The year nothing got done: Recap of the 2019 General Assembly session

July 23, 2019

When the 2019 General Assembly session began in early January, we had high hopes that this would be a banner year for the environment and public health. We had spent the previous four months working with stakeholders from around the state to put together a plan to reduce single-use plastic pollution. We had a commitment from the Governor to fight the climate crisis by supporting mandatory and enforceable carbon emissions reductions across the three largest sectors of Rhode Island’s economy.

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After the #trashtag

March 15, 2019

Internet challenges come and go, and generally I don’t pay much attention to them. This week, however, I began to see pictures of people posing with bags full of trash they had collected pop up all over social media. It seems the #trashtag challenge has taken off across the globe, bringing a ton of attention to a problem that has plagued us for decades, ever since the advent of our convenient, throwaway lifestyle.

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Plastics and toxics in baby products

January 8, 2019

My spouse and I are expecting our first child in the spring. Needless to say, our friends and families are very excited, and we are receiving a lot of advice and insight. One of the most frequent nuggets we have been getting goes something like this: “It really starts to get fun and exciting when you get to put together your baby registry!”

HUGE WIN: General Assembly votes to protect Rhode Island families and first responders!

September 19, 2017

Yesterday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to pass H5082, which will phase out the use of organohalogens, a dangerous chemical used in flame retardants that is associated with cancer and respiratory ailments.

The Senate already unanimously passed this bill in the spring, but when the General Assembly adjourned suddenly in June, the House version was left in legislative limbo. Over the summer, we worked to make sure that a strong version of this bill would be on the agenda  when the General Assembly reconvened in the fall to address its unfinished business.

One of our samples from the trash trawl

Trawling Narragansett Bay

July 19, 2017

This week, Clean Water Action is trawling Narragansett Bay for microplastic pollution. With this trawl, we hope to show that plastic pollution isn't just an issue in the middle of the ocean, it's a problem right here in our own waters.

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Rhode Island in the Lead

November 12, 2016

With the last mail ballots now counted here in our state, it is pretty safe to say that the official results reveal just how important the environment is to Rhode Islanders.

Photo by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, 2004.

Our disconnect with water: Scott Pond and linking individual actions to the health of our waters

May 9, 2016

Earlier this month, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Department of Health released an advisory to avoid contact with Scott Pond in Lincoln, Rhode Island due to the presence of blue-green algae in the water.

West Warwick Flood in 2010. Courtesy Weather.gov

It is time to start talking about our hidden infrastructure (and unhiding some if it, too)

March 3, 2016

For the last few months, all anyone has been able to talk about here in Rhode Island is infrastructure.