Bill advances to protect rivers in Rhode Island, Connecticut

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A bill that would make Rhode Island and Connecticut eligible for federal funding to protect rivers has cleared the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, says the Senate passed legislation Tuesday that includes his language to designate river segments within the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

If it becomes law, parts of seven rivers in Rhode Island and Connecticut could receive additional preservation funding and support from the National Park Service.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, would reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, create about 1.3 million new acres of wilderness area and adopt more than 100 public lands and water initiatives.

Rhode Island's delegation introduced the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Wild and Scenic River Act in the House.