Special House Commission Appointed to Study CRMC
August 12, 2021
Rhode Island Speaker of the House Joseph Shekarchi has appointed the 15 members to serve on a new commission to study the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC).
Created by legislation (H6252) sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero, D-Jamestown, and approved by the House in late June, the commission is to comprehensively study and provide recommendations for the potential reorganization of the CRMC. It is expected to issue its findings and recommendations by April 1 of next year.
“The CRMC was formed by the General Assembly in 1972. A lot has happened over the past 50 years,” Ruggiero said. “I believe it’s time to review coastal management procedures, the composition and experience of the board, and identify opportunities to make the CRMC better for the future of Rhode Island and its residents.”
The CRMC is the state’s lead agency reviewing proposals for 21 coastal communities, and is charged with overseeing offshore wind projects, dredging, development, marinas and aquaculture and protecting Rhode Island’s coastline.
The council has come under scrutiny the past few years for the makeup of the 10-person board and for decisions members made concerning marina projects. The CRMC board chair resigned last month. There are two vacancies on the council.
The special commission will include Ruggiero; Rep. Lauren Carson, D-Newport; Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston; Rep. Michael Chippendale, R-Foster; Save The Bay director of advocacy Topher Hamblett; Jamestown town administrator Jamie Hainsworth; Exeter town planner William DePasquale Jr.; Newport city manager Joe Nicholson Jr., Rhode Island Builders Association CEO John Marcantonio; Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association vice-president Richard Hittinger; Rhode Island Shellfisherman’s Association president Michael McGiveney; University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography dean Paula Bontempi; Audubon Society of Rhode Island executive director Lawrence Taft; New Shoreham Town Council member Sven Risom; and Westerly town planner Nancy Letendre.
An organizational meeting is expected to be scheduled soon.
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