Why We Conserve
Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state in the nation. Our state has also led the Nation in the percentage of farmland lost to development. It is estimated that Rhode Island has lost more than 80% of its active farmland since the 1940’s, and that 3/4 of the remaining 40,000 acres are still not protected from development. Aquidneck Island, which is near a number of major urban areas, has about 60,000 residents and 3 million annual visitors. The precious natural resources that make our Island a desirable place to live and visit are under immense pressures.
In 2004, ALT completed a comprehensive mapping and prioritization project that identified all of the remaining and threatened open space parcels on Aquidneck Island. Today, only a small number of those threatened priority properties remain, representing a little over 2,000 acres left to conserve. These are the final forests, farms, parks, scenic vistas and water resource areas that we hope to save before time runs out.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CONSERVATION?
- Protecting agricultural land and fresh local farm products
- Preserving wildlife habitat and biodiversity
- Maintaining the Island’s desirability as a place to live, work and visit
- Securing public recreational space and healthy fun outdoor opportunities
- Conserving water resource areas and clean drinking water
- Keeping scenic vistas and the charm and beauty of our Island
- Saving money for municipalities and taxpayers