Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2015)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:35 AM


FUGATE, Grover, RI Coastal Resources Management Council, Stedman Government Center, 4808 Tower Hill Rd, Wakefield, RI 02879,

Although Rhode Island already has policies that address coastal erosion and inundation, additional action will better equip Rhode Island for the future. Special Area Management Plans, which the Coastal Resources Management Council is authorized to develop under the Coastal Zone Management Act, are comprehensive plans providing for natural resource protection and reasonable coastal-dependent economic growth set forth in policies that are tailor-made to a certain area of the state.

Rhode Island has long had policies to help communities minimize the effects of storm damage and erosion and has recently adopted the state’s first sea level rise policy. For instance, the state purchased coastal land where properties were destroyed by the hurricanes in 1938 and 1954 to prevent redevelopment of vulnerable areas, and prohibited development of barrier beaches. As the sea level rises, and erosion and flooding worsen with increasing storm frequency and intensity, new measures are needed. The Beach SAMP is working to identify where and how the shoreline is changing and what is at risk from these changes, and will develop new—and improve existing—state coastal policies. The project will also provide practical guidance for communities adapting to short-term and long-term shoreline change. The Beach SAMP is a collaborative effort between the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC)—the state’s coastal regulatory agency—the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant, and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS). SCIENCE