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Sierra Club’s Transportation Choices 2020 Program Receives Support from The Rhode Island Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 20, 2009                                        

CONTACT: Chris Wilhite (401) 521-4734

[Providence, RI] – The Sierra Club Rhode Island Chapter has been awarded a grant for $25,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation for its Transportation Choices 2020 program. The award closely follows a similar grant from Prince Charitable Trusts for $15,000.

Transportation Choices 2020 is a three-year program of the Sierra Club Rhode Island Chapter designed to build and mobilize our network of administrative policy-makers, business leaders, decision-makers, and local citizens to establish a statewide 21st Century transportation plan. A visionary plan to give Rhode Islanders clean, affordable transportation choices will help to reduce automobile pollution and protect air quality, as well as Narragansett Bay, from the impacts of global warming.

“The recent awards from the Rhode Island Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts acknowledge the community support for clean, affordable transportation choices,” said Chris Wilhite, Sierra Club Chapter Director. “We look forward to working with our partners this year to continue to build demand for a 21st century transportation system that promotes clean air, protection of open spaces, and energy independence.”

The Club notes that Rhode Island’s dependence on automobiles has hurt the state in several ways. Roughly twenty-five percent of the state’s greenhouse gases and forty-five percent of the state’s smog is produced by automobiles in the state. Further, the gradual loss of open spaces in the state is a direct result of automobile-centered sub-urban development. Economically, the Ocean State loses between $500 million and $1.5 billion annually on gasoline imports.

“The Sierra Club thanks both the Rhode Island Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts for their generous support of our work to promote green transportation choices for the 21st century,” continued Wilhite.

The grants will allow the Sierra Club to continue its grassroots program on Aquidneck Island and the Providence Metro Area which includes house meetings, communities meetings, coalition building and administrative advocacy for environmentally sustainable transportation choices.

A full description of the Transportation Choices 2020 program can be found at http://www.ri.sierraclub.org/transitreform.

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