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RI Coastal Resources Management Council

...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

CRMC permits Clean The Bay’s debris removal project at Bold Point Park in EP

February 17, 2014, PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, at its Tuesday night semi-monthly meeting this week, approved Clean The Bay’s proposal to conduct debris removal at Bold Point Park and other locations along the East Providence shoreline, from Bullock’s Point to Pawtucket.

The East Providence shoreline has been cluttered with debris for close to a century, the result of development and subsequent abandonment of properties and storms. According to Clean The Bay’s application, the debris is a hazard to navigation, environmental pollution, a hindrance to revitalization in the area, and an eyesore.

“As public use of the India Point Park and Bold Point Park and launching ramp area increase, the negative impacts of this waste increase as well,” the project narrative states. “Furthermore, numerous community organizations including sailing and rowing clubs are hindered by the tons of debris laying crippled on Greenjacket Shoals and across the majority of the East Providence shoreline.”

Clean The Bay plans to target the former dry-dock and sunken vessels near Bold Point and industrial abandonment debris on Greenjacket Shoals. River debris in this area spans approximately 14 miles, and the group plans to clean the area over five years. A pilot project will begin in February, with the first phase starting in late spring with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), state and other contributions. Work will include piling removal (both vertical and horizontal), barge removal, shoreline cleanup and miscellaneous debris removal.

Marine debris removal is listed as a priority within the Providence Harbor Special Area Management Plan, adopted by the CRMC in 1983. Abandonment of vessels, piers, wharves or other related structures is prohibited. According to the SAMP document, in the 1980s, approximately 27,000 cubic yards of shoreline debris littered the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated at the time that a one-time harbor cleanup would cost $7 million.

“The CRMC applauds Clean The Bay on their continued efforts to improve the East Providence shoreline,” said CRMC Chair Anne Maxwell Livingston. “The marine debris in the area has clogged the waterway and is a navigational hazard. With the CRMC assent, and Clean The Bay, the river will now get some needed attention.”

 

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