BlogNon-Profit August 30, 2019

#GiveBackFridays: Salt Ponds Coalition

It is no secret that Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty loves South County.

True to its reputation, South County has been revered for generations as a seaside retreat: an ideal spot for beach-goers, nature-lovers, and outdoor sports enthusiasts alike.  More than just beaches and clambakes though, this community is rich and complicated with a history that deems the southern villages an ongoing state attraction. A recent New York Times piece referred to South County as “A Hidden Gem of Rhode Island”.

To those not familiar with Rhode Island’s coastal communities, South County may present as a bit of a conundrum. Researching online you will find the appellation smattered throughout websites and articles. Turn to a map, however, and South County is nowhere to be found. One might say it is more of a lifestyle, a state of mind, even a mythical relic of local lore, but it is most definitely a real place, too. Many locals would agree South County is comprised of the towns of Washington County: Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, New Shoreham (Block Island), North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, and Westerly.

These towns are largely composed of small historic villages, beach communities and small farms. The colonists originally referred to this area as “Narragansett Country,” and you can still recognize this heritage in many of the town and village names. Today the area is generally equated with coastal southern Rhode Island, and the land is prized and protected for its beautiful coastline and gently rolling hills.

Among the beauty you will find several salt ponds. The Salt Ponds Coalition is dedicated to “protecting and enhancing the health of the salt ponds for the benefit of wildlife and people.” According to the SPC website, this mission “includes educating the residents of salt ponds regions of the value to the economy and how residents can contribute to the well-being of the resource. SPC also acts as a conduit between the residents of the coastal communities and state and local governments for the flow of information vital to the survival of the salt ponds and their environs.  SPC works to implement programs which enhance the environment of the salt ponds and contribute to their protection, preservation, and economic well-being.”

Since 2014, Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty has had the pleasure of supporting the SPC through annual membership.  Participation ensures the health and vitality of the ponds through water quality testing, educational outreach programs, data analysis and year-round advocacy. To learn more about membership, please visit the Salt Ponds Coalition website.

Carefully preserved beaches and wild life refuges are essential throughout the region. It’s the history and distinctive cultural character that have propelled its continued renown, despite its lack of any kind of formal recognition. Organizations like the Salt Ponds Coalition has been advocation on behalf of these coastal communities for thirty years.