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

Greenwich Bay SAMP

Greenwich Bay provides vital shellfish habitat, shoreline access, boating opportunities, scenic views, and historic significance to the citizens of Rhode Island. Pollution from stormwater runoff, failing septic systems, and over-development threatens the water quality needed to support those uses. Residents, marinas, yacht clubs, shellfishing operations, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises depend on a healthy Greenwich Bay.

A productive estuary taxed by pollution, Greenwich Bay has been the subject of significant attempts to address water quality and other issues. Research done as part of the Greenwich Bay Initiative has identified sources of pollution and analyzed the physical processes taking place in the bay. Continued water quality issues and a desire to expand on the efforts of the Greenwich Bay Initiative led to a call for a Greenwich Bay Special Area Management Plan (SAMP).

The Coastal Resources Management Council is coordinating with Warwick, East Greenwich, government agencies, and community organizations to prepare the Greenwich Bay Special Area Management Plan. The SAMP is built on government cooperation and community participation. It is adopted into state and local law and recommends policies and actions that government can undertake to protect a complex natural resource that is part of a larger watershed ecosystem. The SAMP provides several mechanisms to coordinate separate governmental bodies, with its overall goal to promote effective coordination among the management authorities within the watershed. The SAMP will describe the present status of the bay, characterize its watershed, identify sources of pollution, and recommend steps to help government work with communities to restore, protect, and balance uses of Greenwich Bay for this and future generations.

Citizens Advisory Committee

The RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) with the assistance of RI Sea Grant, have completed an evaluation of the Greenwich Bay Special Area Management Plan (GB SAMP) participation process.

Overall, the results show that the level of fairness in the process was good, local citizens had influence, and that trust in CRMC increased over the life of the planning process. Over 90% of respondents agreed that establishment of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) has been beneficial to getting the public effectively involved in the SAMP planning process.

After the results of the first survey, CRMC adapted their participation process to meet the needs of the respondents. Results from the final survey will be used to shape future Greenwich Bay SAMP activities as well as other SAMPs in Rhode Island.

The intent of this survey instrument is to track perceptions of fairness of the participation over time. The survey can be used for future Greenwich Bay SAMP meetings to continue the learning and adapting process.

Informational Links

Stedman Government Center
Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
Voice 401-783-3370 • Fax 401-783-2069 • E-Mail

An Official Rhode Island State Website