Skip to ContentSitemap

YouTubeFacebookTwittereNewsletter SignUp


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, April 18, 2017 at 10 a.m. at CRMC offices, Oliver Stedman Government Center, Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, R.I.

Members Present
Anne Maxwell Livingston, Chair
Paul Beaudette
Don Gomez
Michael Hudner

Staff Present
Grover Fugate, CRMC Executive Director
Anthony DeSisto, Esq., CRMC Legal Counsel
James Boyd, CRMC

Others Present
Teresa Crean, URI CRC

Call to order. A. Livingston called the meeting to order at 10 a.m.

Item 1. Approval of previous meeting minutes – the minutes from the previous Beach SAMP Subcommittee were approved unanimously.

Item 2. Discussion of Beach SAMP tools and chapter progress – G. Fugate provided the subcommittee on a CERI (Coastal Environmental Risk Index) update: with additional funding now available, Bristol and Warren will be added to the existing Warwick and Charlestown coverage. CERI builds on STORMTOOLS ideas, and will include a 10 and 12-foot data layer, G. Fugate said. Components of CERI include water levels (100-year or specific storm event) also available through STORMTOOLS, wave estimates (100-year flood), shoreline change (erosion/accretion), damage functions (based on data from Superstorm Sandy 2012 from US Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency), location and identification of structures and infrastructure with E-911 data, and town and state data bases. G. Fugate said the goal of CERI is to give people the proper tools when considering the design life of structures.

D. Gomez commented that it is difficult to disseminate this information at a local level. G. Fugate agreed and commented that as a direct permitting agency, and with the cooperation of the University of Rhode Island, the CRMC has a unique perspective, and is able to generate these tools for municipalities to utilize. Local retention of this information, however, is the focus, he said.

We’ll have all tools in place for towns if they want to replicate the system. A. Maxwell Livingston expressed concern that the insurance and banking industries were indifferent to the data contained in the tools, and asked how the CRMC could change that. G. Fugate said the T. Crean and the team at URI was working on that. The subcommittee discussed getting more industries to buy in to CRMC SAMP tools like STORMTOOLS and CERI, over the incorrect FEMA maps. G. Fugate said he would like to work with the building industry and get CERI adopted as statute. If that becomes the new building standard in RI, FEMA might view it as building way above requirements, and give property owners a cheap rate, he said. P. Beaudette asked if there were alternatives to elevating. J. Boyd said moving back was sometimes an option. P. Beaudette said realistically, that won’t happen because of costs, and said the subcommittee needed to look at the issue from another angle. G. Fugate said that the first step to is getting people to understand risk and what amount of risk they’re willing to live with, and make that transparent throughout the process (via the SAMP).

Discussion of Chapter 5 – G. Fugate told the subcommittee that this chapter is a guidance document, meant to be easily updatable. The plan is to embed changes in the Red Book that lead you to the Beach SAMP document, but the actual changes are in Red Book, he said. Permit staff provided good feedback. It had to be simple for people to understand, and usable by permit staff, G. Fugate said. There will be a work sheet for permit staff and a web viewer that will walk applicants through the process, he said. The permit process is a thinking exercise in terms of risk the applicant is willing to take on, G. Fugate said. First question is design life, and once the applicant chooses one, the work sheet will provide a sea level rise scenario and base flood elevation. Chapter 7 will have some mitigation measures applicants can take, G. Fugate said. CRMC won’t endorse any; applicant and engineer have to figure it out, he said. All of this information, including the staff report, can be and will be conveyed through the deed, G. Fugate said. All of the statutory information will be at the back of Chapter 5, just to satisfy people’s questions of why is CRMC doing this, G. Fugate said. The SAMP team will train people in using the web tool. G. Fugate also went through the revised draft table of contents with the subcommittee.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30.

Respectfully Submitted,

Laura Dwyer
CRMC Public Educator and Information Coordinator



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

An Official Rhode Island State Website