ALT works to protect our drinking water and coastal water quality through strategic land preservation, outreach and education, and the promotion of best practices in stewardship of watershed lands and riparian buffers. Aquidneck Island is served primarily by surface water, which is stored in seven island reservoirs and two off-island reservoirs. After treatment, this water is safe to drink, but before treatment, it is seriously impaired. High rates of development are responsible for increased impervious surface areas and lawn treatments. Some agricultural operations contribute to contamination, as do poorly draining soils. Protecting water resources at the source leads to more cost effective treatment, fewer beach closures, and better wildlife habitat.
ALT prioritizes protecting open space and riparian buffers, and has protected over 1,300 acres of open space in these watersheds. Protecting the areas that drain to our water supplies helps naturally filter water and provides other conservation benefits such as habitat protection, sustainable agriculture, and scenic viewscapes. ALT has researched these watersheds thoroughly and has strategic plans for protecting land and implementing Best Management Practices in the Maidford River/Paradise Brook, Bailey Brook, and Portsmouth reservoir watersheds. One of our most recent projects involved full stream walks of the Maidford and Paradise Rivers to inform a conservation plan on land protection, riparian buffer restoration, and implementation of Best Management Practice on conserved lands in the watershed.
ALT partners with multiple coalitions such as the Green Infrastructure Coalition and Island Waters, which are devoted to quality of life around water resources, including stormwater issues, water quality, and flooding.