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

In accordance with notice to members of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council’s Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) subcommittee, a meeting of the subcommittee was held on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 4 p.m. at CRMC offices, Oliver Stedman Government Center, Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, R.I.

Members Present
Anne Maxwell Livingston, Chair
Paul Beaudette
Don Gomez

Staff Present
Grover Fugate, CRMC Executive Director
John Longo, Esq. CRMC Assistant Legal Counsel
James Boyd, CRMC

Others Present
Michelle Carnevale, URI CRC
Teresa Crean, URI CRC

Call to order. A. Livingston called the first meeting of the Subcommittee to order at 4:15 p.m.

Item 1. Discussion of SAMP document - Introduction – G. Fugate said the document was brought to a recent stakeholder meeting, CRMC staff has also made comments, and is now before the subcommittee for feedback. The intent is to revisit the Introduction, he said, once the SAMP is written and revise it, but the SAMP team wanted to have an outline. D. Gomez asked if the document would have an appendix, and G. Fugate said the team would track any regulatory changes as we go, and said the appendix to list them might be a good idea. D. Gomez commented that he would like a little science on the need for this SAMP inserted; there was nothing discussing climate change. P. Beaudette agreed. D. Gomez referenced page 3, and that there wasn’t much information on the related restoration projects. G. Fugate agreed, and briefly mentioned all of the related projects underway and the monies associated with them. A. Livingston asked about any public comments. M. Carnevale said the Coalition of Community Leaders gave input on June 16 but on the table of contents. G. Fugate said some have commented that with all of the applicable regulations and policies on this, the line must be drawn somewhere. We will bring up the idea of retreat, he said; our policies have retreat built into them. M. Carnevale said the team would be sharing the Table of Contents and process document at the July 14 stakeholder meeting. A. Livingston asked if stakeholders and the public think their comments were heeded, and worked well with in order to get feedback? M. Carnevale said it was probably the best meeting they’d had, so yes.

J. Boyd commented that the CRMC might want to consider some sort of mechanism like what the state did with Napatree Point, which prohibited rebuilding after a hurricane. What is our policy, for example, along Atlantic Avenue in Westerly, he asked. A vulnerability index that will soon be developed will look at the highest risk area – maybe that’s where we apply the state policy, J. Boyd said. G. Fugate commented that density is the problem, so in order to reduce exposure, the state would have to regulate development in a way that limits density. A. Livingston said something like that in the Beach SAMP provides just another tool. A. Livingston said the consensus is to put more similar language into the document.

Item 2. Discussion of Table of Contents – A. Livingston said it was already discussed.

Item 3. Discussion of STORMTOOLS – G. Fugate said he’d like to give members a more intensive look/demo on STORMTOOLS, because it’s growing. He detailed Malcolm Spaulding’s surge work using USACE save points and storm models. T. Crean said in doing outreach to understand what the homeowner wants, the team has pulled together data on different elements and is currently trying to package them. T. Crean said there is now a link on the site for the science behind STORMTOOLS. ARC GIS allows this to be accessible on any technology, she said. J. Boyd commented that these are user- friendly maps. T. Crean said the team is also thinking of training opportunities and things like STORMTOOLS for beginners, and different storm return periods, as well as nuisance storm interface scenarios have been added. T. Crean said G. Fugate and Malcolm took this to Warwick DPW in the fall to show them what a 25-year storm would look like on Warwick Neck (it would cut it off from rest of the city). This tool helps facilitate those discussions, she said. T. Crean explained the simple steps for using STORMTOOLS for Beginners, as well as STORMTOOLS for practitioners. The team is also working on damage layers to assess percent damage scenarios, and is working to have real-time flood forecasting to show what a storm’s wave envelope might look like. G. Fugate said the team is also doing a mapping effort for inland flooding.

Item 4. Update on FEMA flood maps – G. Fugate told the subcommittee that the CRMC questioned FEMA on their maps and asked Malcolm to take a look at them. The result was an18-page paper. G. Fugate said the CRMC denied FEMA’s federal consistency, met with the regional director and asked them to work together and offered to pay for the modeling. The team, with the use of ADCIRC and STWAVE, developed a downscaled grid on the south shore and validated and run the model, and produced data, G. Fugate said. RIEMA, he said, agreed to work with the team and CRMC on an official map revision. Malcolm has created a side-by-side comparison between ours and FEMA’s, G. Fugate said, and the differences are concerning.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Laura Dwyer


Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
Voice 401-783-3370 • Fax 401-783-2069 • E-Mail

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