Rhode Islanders firmly answer ‘yes’ to question 1 for improvements to URI’s Narragansett Bay campus – URI News

KINGSTON, RI – November 9, 2022 – Voters in Rhode Island made a strong statement that they want the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay campus to continue to be a global center of excellence in ocean science by approving a referendum on the $100 million bond.

With 412 of 414 polling places reported Tuesday night, 57.5% of voters said they support investments that will keep URI and the state of Rhode Island at the forefront of the global blue economy. Twenty-nine cities and towns in Rhode Island voted to approve Question 1, with support coming from all corners of the state.

Thirteen Rhode Island communities had approval percentages above 60%, with five exceeding 70% approval: Central Falls, 72%; Jamestown, 71%; New Shoreham (Block Island), 75%; Newport, 71%, and Providence, 75%.

“We are grateful to the Rhode Islanders for their support of this bond issue,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “An investment in URI is an investment in our future. Together, we said yes to being blue economy leaders; yes to job creation; yes to research and science that protects the environment; and yes to building a thriving hub of ideas, partnerships and programs that will create a stronger economy for us all.

Parlange said the link will create a modern and thriving Bay Campus that will spur critical job creation and economic development, spur innovation, and create sustainable and equitable career opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.

The blue economy, which includes industries related to sustainable and renewable energy; ocean engineering; sea ​​trades; fisheries; tourism; and defense – is a critical driver of the state’s economy, generating more than $5 billion each year. By 2030, this total is expected to double to $10 billion.

A revitalized Bay Campus will have a profound impact on URI, the state’s flagship research institution. The groundbreaking work taking place at the Bay Campus attracts more than $50 million in research grants to the University each year. The improved facilities will continue to attract top faculty and students, as well as additional research funds.

In addition to being a center for education and research, the Bay Campus is home to a strong community of academic centers, state and federal agencies, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, and private businesses. The bond will transform the campus into the hub of Rhode Island’s blue economy, and the creation of new jobs and businesses in the blue economy will encourage students to stay in Rhode Island after graduation.

The Question 1 endorsement continues a record of strong support from Rhode Island voters for investment in higher education and, in particular, URI as the state’s flagship research university.