DEM’s Bay Line Opens For Summer Season
PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management announces that its seasonal 24-hour Bay Line telephone information line is now open. The Bay Line number, 222-8888, is toll-free within the state.
Bay Line provides Rhode Islanders with a central telephone number to leave a recorded message about any sign of Bay-related environmental problems throughout the summer season for appropriate follow-up. It also offers updates on the overall health of the Bay, and referral numbers for information about any current restrictions on beaches or fishing. Callers may also pose questions about the Bay.
Reports of Bay conditions, updated weekly on Bay Line, are compiled from data provided by a network of monitoring stations in the Bay that monitor oxygen, temperature, salinity, pH levels, and, in some cases, water clarity and the presence of algae blooms. The monitoring data is supplemented by field observations made by DEM personnel. The first report has been posted today.
The intent of Bay Line is to provide an effective means for exchanging Bay-related information between the public and the agencies charged with monitoring and protecting the Bay. For instance, the line can be used to provide DEM with early warnings about emerging issues, such as algae blooms, that might serve as precursors to low oxygen events and fish kills.
Bay Line is an integral part of a series of initiatives undertaken at the behest of Governor Carcieri to protect Narragansett Bay. A related initiative is the Bay Assessment and Response Team (BART), which is designed to facilitate timely and well-coordinated responses to any major Bay-related environmental emergency. BART includes professional staff from DEM, the Department of Health, and the University of Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders can find a great deal of Bay-related information, provided by the BART program on DEM’s website, www.dem.ri.gov, by clicking on “BART” under “Timely Topics” on the home page. The weekly Bay Line reports can also be found at that location.