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

CRMC launches coastal hazard application worksheet

June 28, 2019, Wakefield – As part of the arsenal of tools developed through its Rhode Island Shoreline Change (Beach) Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), the RI Coastal Resources Management Council recently launched its coastal hazard application worksheet and online viewer.

The worksheet and online viewer provide guidance for property owners to address coastal hazards for certain projects in the design and permitting process when applying to the CRMC for proposed activities. Chapter 5 of the Beach SAMP gives additional background information for this application process, and is designed to educate property owners on the risk they inherit when building or performing other activities in a coastal area.

Applicants must follow the step-by-step process in the worksheet by first choosing a design life for their project (how long they want it to last), using CRMC shoreline change maps and projected sea level rise rates. Then using the coastal hazard mapping tool STORMTOOLS, they must evaluate the rate of sea level rise their property will be subjected to over the life of their structure, and list any roads or access routes that might also be impacted. Applicants must also use STORMTOOLS design elevation data and identify erosion rates (using tools provided) to determine their property’s vulnerability to storm surge and erosion. They must also utilize the CRMC’s Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI) to view the projected damage to the location in the case of a storm. Lastly, the applicant must use Chapter 7 of the Beach SAMP as a guide to consider mitigation options for the exposure determined through the previous steps, and sign the worksheet.

The following types of projects must complete the coastal hazard application worksheet, in addition to and with the standard CRMC application:

Any of the following new projects, including tear-downs and rebuilds, located on a coastal feature of within the 200-foot contiguous area:

  • residential buildings;
  • commercial and industrial structures;
  • beach pavilions;
  • private or public roadway;
  • infrastructure projects subject to §§ 1.3.1(F), (H), and (M); and
  • subdivisions with six or more lots, any portion of which is within 200 feet of a shoreline feature

Any of the following modifications to existing projects, including tear-downs and rebuilds, located on a coastal feature or within CRMC jurisdiction (200 feet of a coastal area):

  • expansion of existing commercial structures over tidal waters;
  • expansion greater than 600 square feet to existing residential, commercial, industrial, or beach pavilion structures;
  • second story additions greater than 600 square feet to existing residential, commercial, industrial, or beach pavilion structures; and
  • modification to existing residential, commercial, industrial, or beach pavilion structures when they are located within the CRMC minimum setback (§ 1.1.9.)

“This worksheet and online viewer are designed to help the applicant learn of the inherent risks they take on when buying coastal property, or doing work to an existing coastal property both today and in the future,” said CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate. “We’re encouraging folks to educate themselves on the risk today and within their mortgage period, and figure out which strategies work best for them: elevating, moving inland on the site, or flood proofing their structure. We also want people to pay attention to how access to their site is impacted into the future. These viewers help potential buyers consider the risks before buying coastal properties, and now we have the tools through the Beach SAMP to really bring that message home.”

For the downloadable worksheet, as well as the link to the online viewer, go to For more information on Chapters 5 and 7 of the Beach SAMP, go to


Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
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