...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders
CRMC, ProvPort, Save The Bay open newest Urban Coastal Greenway
September 7, 2017, Providence – The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, along with ProvPort, the City of Providence and Save The Bay, will open more green space and public access along the waterfront in the city with the creation of an Urban Coastal Greenway (UCG) at an old landfill situated between ProvPort and Save The Bay headquarters.
On Thursday, September 7 at 10:30 a.m. Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and representatives of Save The Bay and ProvPort joined the CRMC at an official opening of the public pathway on the waterfront. ProvPort, with the guidance of the CRMC, transformed the former landfill beginning in 2015, after the City of Providence’s Providence Redevelopment Agency leased the parcel to the non-profit ProvPort corporation. Along with CRMC and Save The Bay, as well as Waterson Terminal Services, ProvPort redeveloped the waterfront portion of parcel 288 as an Urban Coastal Greenway. Though not a continuous path, this new UCG is an addition to the Johnson & Wales University UCG, as well as the public access in front of the Save The Bay headquarters. All three public access paths combined provide more than 3,000 feet of waterfront walking paths at Fields Point.
Prior to the work done on the site by ProvPort, the former landfill site was forested and the shoreline was well hidden from anyone not familiar with the fishing spot. After the city released the property to the Providence Redevelopment Agency, and ProvPort leased it, the corporation paved 9.5 acres for a car business, capped the landfill and restored the remaining 2.5 acres for public access with plantings and the establishment of the UCG. The greenway includes a small cove and stone steps for fishing access, as well as a walkway with areas for sitting. The cove was regraded with mostly on-site material to prevent erosion and stabilize the bank.
This newest UCG joins a number of other completed and in-progress projects throughout the CRMC’s Metro Bay Region Special Area Management Plan area, which includes the cities of Pawtucket, Providence, East Providence and Cranston. With UCGs at American Locomotive Works in Providence along the Woonasquatucket River and Johnson & Wales University at Field’s Point in Providence, and with others under development at Village on the Waterfront and Kettle Point, both in East Providence, more than 2.5 miles (13,450 linear feet) of new public access will be available in these urban areas as projects are completed. For more information on these projects, go to http://www.crmc.ri.gov/news/2016_0705_ucg.html.
The Metro Bay SAMP, the CRMC’s fifth, encompasses the cities of Cranston, East Providence, Providence, and Pawtucket. This region is a largely untapped natural resource and economic engine. It was the site of industrialization and progress and over the years has become outdated and underutilized. The cities are now acting to make this region of Narragansett Bay a more appealing place to live and work by improving the economic, social and environmental resources of the working waterfront; attracting major developers with more predictable and efficient permitting; and providing recreation and access to the water.
The UCG is a new regulatory approach for coastal vegetative buffers in the urbanized environment of northern Narragansett Bay, and is intended for projects bordering the Providence, Seekonk, Moshassuck and Woonasquatucket Rivers. The purpose of the UCG is to provide a mechanism to redevelop the urban waterfront of the Metro Bay region in a way that integrates economic development with expanded public access along and to the shoreline, as well as the management, protection and restoration of valuable coastal habitats.
ProvPort, Inc., a Rhode Island non-profit corporation was formed in 1994 for the purposes of purchasing the municipal port from the City of Providence and operating it for the benefit of the city. Since 1994, ProvPort has generated almost $32 million in direct city revenues plus an additional $50 million in capital improvements by ProvPort and its tenants. ProvPort’s tenants are subject to state and local taxes and the non-profit, itself, pays the city 6% of its gross revenues in lieu of real estate taxes. Under current agreements, all ProvPort assets will revert back to the city in 2036.