...to preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders
The University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center assisted the CRMC in the development of the Bay SAMP.
The CRMC Narragansett Bay Special Area Management Plan (Bay SAMP) initiative engaged the public in the gathering, synthesizing and sharing of Bay science and best management practices for the purpose of updating state policy to guide Rhode Island’s use and management of Bay resources and activities. The focus of the Bay SAMP was to develop policy and standards for the siting of submerged cables within state waters for offshore renewable energy development, and to guide and manage aquaculture projects within Narragansett Bay and the Sakonnet River. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) undertook this long-range planning effort to respond to its primary responsibility of preserving, protecting, developing, and where possible restoring coastal areas of the state.
The CRMC committed to engaging the public during all phases of this 12–18 month process. Although public meetings and workshops were organized, CRMC also engaged the Aquaculture Element Working Group, made up of over 80 Rhode Islanders representing resource users, municipalities, researchers, environmental organizations, and federal and state agencies in the development of project deliverables. As volunteer advisors, the Working Group brought its expertise to the table, asking questions, learning, and making recommendations. The Working Group was an advisory body to the CRMC, it had no legal or regulatory authority, and thus is not a public body as defined under state law. Therefore, the Working Group meetings were not subject to Open Meeting Act notification.