The University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Natural History Survey have been awarded a grant of $183,700 from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund for a demonstration project designed to improve habitat for birds in Middletown by making it more resilient to the effects of climate change.
The two-year project at the Norman Bird Sanctuary and Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge involves the removal of invasive plants and restoring native species in areas where natural plant cover has been damaged.
“We’re taking an area that is already globally important bird habitat and manipulating it to make sure it retains that function into the future,” said David Gregg, executive director of the Natural History Survey.
“Rising sea levels will literally shorten the distance between coastal features like the salt marsh and the adjacent coastal forest. And whereas we’ve sometimes treated them separately in the past, I hope this project will help all involved see them as connected and interdependent,” he continued.