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RI Coastal Resources Management Council

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

CRMC, City of East Providence open new fishing pier at Kettle Point

Project partners celebrate the official opening of the Kettle Point fishing pier

Project partners (Richard Baccari II cutting the ribbon in center) celebrate the official opening of the Kettle Point fishing pier on May 27

June 8, 2021, KETTLE POINT — The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), along with Churchill and Banks, the City of East Providence, and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management recently opened a new fishing pier at Kettle Point in East Providence, along the bike path and an area of revitalization of what was previously an industrial waterfront.

The 600-foot fishing pier looking landward toward the East Bay bike path

The 600-foot fishing pier, looking landward toward the East Bay bike path

The view from the water has changed drastically in the 10 years since developer Churchill and Banks President and CEO Richard Baccari II walked the site; what was occupied by 25 petroleum tanks and acres of contaminated soil is now home to condominiums, apartments, and a new University Orthopedics medical facility.

Project partners, also including DiPrete Engineering, and the East Providence Waterfront Commission, gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony on the pier on May 27, where Baccari donated the 2.9 acres and 60-foot fishing pier back to the City of East Providence. The city will maintain the pier in perpetuity for the public’s use.

View of the terminus of the new public fishing pier

View of the terminus of the new public fishing pier at Kettle Point (photo courtesy of East Providence Area Chamber)

"It’s difficult to imagine that for 50-plus years this site was home to 25 oil storage tanks and completely inaccessible to the public,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “But thanks to the collaboration with R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council, RIDEM, Save the Bay, Churchill & Banks, Sage Environmental and our many more partners, we now have this beautiful pier accessible the public in an area that is now home to a new 290-unit residential housing complex and a 90,000-square-foot flagship medical facility employing 200 plus people.”

For the CRMC, the revitalization project’s highlight was the new public fishing pier, which is also now designated as a CRMC Urban Coastal Greenway under the Metro Bay Special Area Management Plan. CRMC staff worked with the project partners for a number of years to bring the pier to fruition.

Sign at the entrance of the new fishing pier

Sign at the entrance of the new fishing pier at Kettle Point (photo courtesy of City of East Providence)

The fishing pier complements the East Bay bike path, Squantum State Woods, and extends shoreline public access in an urban area, and is the gold standard for how the program was designed to work to link shoreline public access, and access along the shore in urban environments.

“I want to say how wonderful it was to work with all the partners that embraced the concept of what public access is for this project,” said CRMC Executive Director Jeffrey Willis at the ribbon cutting. “The CRMC has tried to elevate public access throughout the state, and in the urban environment, that can be a difficult issue to approach. Fifteen years ago we created the Urban Coastal Greenway program, which allows developers to look at public access opportunities that can be melded with the development but also get people to the shore, and along the shore.”

 

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