Tag Archives | Narragansett Bay

Repost: Seeking a solution (to flooding and beach closures)

After the 2010 floods, I wrote about the public desire for some sort of solution to prevent future flooding. Spoiler, we can’t prevent future floods, but we can change what we’re doing to mitigate the impact of flooding.

We haven’t had a giant flood since, but related to the flooding problem is stormwater runoff polluting the bay. Bob Plain writes today on RIFuture about how Warwick has been heavily impacted by beach closures related to pollution caused by runoff.

Also today, Save The Bay is holding a press conference about the high number of beach closings this year. The AP’s Erika Niedowski tweets from the press conference:

That is to say, I believe, that the Providence Combined Sewer Overflow Project is working, but our paved and other impervious surfaces are still causing us harm.

In 2010 it was massive flooding which was supposed to be our wake-up call about the damage our built environment was doing to us. We did not learn many lessons it would seem from those floods, as a year later a smiling Cranston Mayor Fung celebrated the opening of a new Stop & Shop on the banks of the Pawtuxet.

Will we learn any lessons from our 2013 beach closures wake-up call?


Wind turbines approved for Port of Providence

EcoRI News reports that the Narragansett Bay Commission has approved a $12 million construction contract to build three wind turbines at the Port of Providence.

The turbines should be operational by March of next year.

In other wind turbine news, WPRI reports that Deepwater Wind has submitted new plans for a 200 turbine wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting


flickr photo submitted by closingatnever

According to a White House Press Release, The Obama Administration plans to hold an Ocean Policy Task Force public meeting in Providence, RI, on September 24, 2009.

The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning. The public is encouraged to attend and an opportunity for public comment will be provided.

The Task Force has had prior meetings in Alaska and San Francisco and plans to have another in Hawaii. The meeting in Providence can be viewed from a live webcast during the 4-7pm scheduled meeting at the convention center.

According to an article in the New York Times,

The panel comprises representatives of environmental, transportation and other agencies.

The interim report also calls for greater integration of environment-related science in federal rule-making and the creation of a National Ocean Council to oversee the effort.

UPDATE From the Community Boating website

President Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force will hold a press conference on the ceremonial dock at India Point Park from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 to talk about developing the National Ocean Policy and the importance of public participation.

Community Boating Center (CBC) will provide use the center’s building at India Point from noon to 1:30 for the task force to have lunch and use of the CBC facility in the event of inclement weather for the press conference.

Later that afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m. at the Convention Center, the task force will hold one of 6 national public meetings to hear comments from the public on a national ocean policy. Providence was chosen for the only East Coast public meeting of the task force.

Speakers will include the chair of the task force, Nancy Sutley, chair of the Whitehouse Council on Environmental Quality, NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, and several other federal officials on the task force, including officials from the U.S. Coast Guard, Dept. of Interior, Dept. of Health and Human Services and other agencies. Approx. 20 people from the task force and their staff are expected at the press conference.

John O’Flaherty, Executive Director of CBC commented, “We are thrilled to play a humble role in supporting this impressive team in their historic and invaluable mission to protect our oceans.”


You can get there from here?


Could the Providence-Newport Ferry rise from the dead and return to service this summer? RIPTA is hoping to make it work. As the Journal reports, RIPTA has issued two RFPs. One asks ferry companies to bid for a no-subsidy service. Likely this would be fewer trips and a shorter season than we are used to. The other RFP asks ferry companies to quote what subsidy they would need to provide the previous level of service.

RIPTA announced last year that the ferry would not return this summer due to the end of a half million dollar federal subsidy. At the time I said it was rather short sited of RIPTA not to plan for the end of a subsidy that clearly had an end date. I also questioned how there could be absolutely no way to find a half million dollars to make up for the lost subsidy (of course this was before the economy ‘sploded).

I don’t know where RIPTA is hoping to find the funds for the subsidized RFP, but I hope they can make it work. The ferry was a vital piece of our tourist economy and it is madness for the Ocean State to not have a public ferry service utilizing Narragansett Bay.