Secretary Haaland Highlights President’s Investing in America Agenda in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Last edited 06/16/2023

Date: Friday, June 16, 2023


PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland completed a multi-day visit to Massachusetts and Rhode Island today where she highlighted how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and America the Beautiful initiative are restoring our nations lands and waters, strengthening Indigenous communities, and expanding outdoor recreation access.

During her trip, Secretary Haaland met with leaders from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and Narragansett Indian Tribe on topics including economic development, the impacts of climate change, and the sustainable development of offshore wind.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest investment in physical and natural systems in American history, including resources to make Tribal communities safer and their infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The Law invests more than $13 billion directly to Tribal communities across the country, including $250 million over five years for Tribal dams and water projects.

Today in Rhode Island, Secretary Haaland visited the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park with federal, state and local leaders including Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Seth Magaziner, Governor Daniel McKee and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Greiben to celebrate the establishment of the park as a National Park Service unit. Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park tells the story of the birth of America’s industrialization and its profound impact on society. The park’s inclusion in the National Park Service will help strengthen the local economy, increase access to outdoor recreation, and honor the rich history of the region.  

In Massachusetts earlier this week, Secretary Haaland toured the High Street dam removal project in Bridgewater, where a $1.5 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will restore the river and support aquatic connectivity. The dam is an aging and obsolete structure that poses a risk to public safety. Once removed, it will open 10 miles of river to benefit alewife, blueback herring, American eel, sea lamprey and American shad and open access to 354 acres of spawning habitat for river herring at Lake Nippenicket.

Across the country, millions of barriers are fragmenting rivers, blocking fish migration, and putting communities at higher risk to flooding. Improving fish passage is one of the most effective ways to help conserve vulnerable species while building safer infrastructure for communities and improving climate resilience. The President’s Investing in America agenda makes historic investments in river restoration and aquatic connectivity through a $200 million boost for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Fish Passage Program and through multiple other partnership-driven conservation grant programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, such as the America the Beautiful Challenge.

The America the Beautiful initiative is supporting locally led and voluntary efforts to protect, conserve, connect and restore land and waters across the nation. Through the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Department is investing over $2 billion towards these efforts to  Interior Department To Take Action To Restore Lands And Waters [pdf]


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