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RI Coastal Resources Management Council preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CRMC?

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) is the state agency tasked with managing and regulating activities that occur on and near the coast of our state. It was created in 1971 by the General Assembly, comprised of a professional staff of engineers and biologists, and a 10-member Council of Governor-appointed laypeople representing different Rhode Island communities. The Council serves as the adjudicatory arm of the agency and hears complex and difficult applications, as well as regulatory matters.

What is the CRMC’s mission?

In order to carry out its mandate to “preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore the coastal resources of the state for this and succeeding generations…,” the agency is involved in many different functions in the state’s coastal zone. The CRMC is in its simplest form, a management and planning, and permitting agency. But it also investigates and designates rights-of-way to the shore, manages habitat restoration projects, serves as the state’s dredging coordinator, regulates the state’s aquaculture industry, oversees municipal harbor management plans and marina activities, develops long-term area-specific plans called Special Area Management Plans, regulates certain federal activities in coastal areas, and leads the state’s efforts to combat aquatic invasive species. It also participates in long-term planning to address climate change, storm-related issues that impact Rhode Island, sea level rise, and coastal adaptation. For more, explore our web site –

How does the CRMC accomplish this?

Our professional staff processes applications, creates policy and planning tools and documents, evaluates special projects, and advises the Council on certain permitting activities. The CRMC executes the state’s coastal program or Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Plan (Red Book), as well as select federal activities that occur in Rhode Island and its waters, and regularly cooperates and collaborates with other municipalities, state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations. For more on the CRMC’s various programs, go to -

What is the CRMC’s jurisdiction?

Generally, it is defined as all tidal waters of the state extending to three (3) nautical miles offshore, and includes all coastal features (e.g., coastal beaches, barriers, dunes, coastal wetlands, rocky shorelines, etc.) and the 200-foot contiguous area to those features. Certain inland activities such as energy generating facilities greater than 40 megawatts, chemical or petroleum processing, transfer, or storage and other inland activities specified in state law may require CRMC review. The CRMC has jurisdiction for specific watershed activities (e.g., subdivisions of six or more units, roadways, large septic systems, etc.) within the Narrow River and Salt Pond Special Area Management Plans (SAMPs). The CRMC also has jurisdiction for activities affecting freshwater wetlands in the vicinity of the coast. For more information, see the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program (RICRMP) Red Book (650-RICR-20-00-1) –

Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
Voice 401-783-3370 • Fax 401-783-3767 • E-Mail

An Official Rhode Island State Website