Created in the 1970’s to carry out Rhode Island’s coastal zone management program, the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) holds regulatory authority from 200 feet inshore to 3 miles offshore. Some of the greatest opportunities for hunters and anglers to pursue fish and game in the Ocean State exist within CRMC’s jurisdictional boundary, making the agency’s actions and decisions on protection, preservation and development within the coastal zone important to the future of hunting and angling access and opportunity in Rhode Island.
During last year’s legislative session the Rhode Island the House of Represented passed H6252 –a resolution creating a special legislative study commission to study reorganizing CRMC. The study commission convened in September under the leadership of Rep. Deb Ruggeiro (D – Jamestown), and met four times to discuss various aspects of CRMC’s operations and focus and to hear from experts. The Rhode Island team monitored these hearings, and during the study commission’s public input hearing on January 19th offered our comments and recommendations on how CRMC could be reorganized to better carry out its legislative mandate, and to restore the public’s confidence in how Rhode Island manages our coastal zone.