Protect Segar Cove
A new three-acre oyster farm has been proposed for Segar Cove, Potter Pond, an expansion on the nearly 10 acres (according to DEM records) already in production. Recreational uses including kayaking, fishing, clamming, sailing, swimming, water skiing, tubing, paddle boarding, etc. will be severely impacted by this expansion. Public access to any part of the lease site will be impossible, removing this water from the public domain!
Public Access Threatened
Approval of proposed lease would effectively privatize this stretch of water, cutting off all public access to and use of 3+ acres, while creating dangerous conditions for all other users! (The image at left was taken at the exact lease area and shows one of the many ways the public has historically used this water. )
When the application was first submitted, the CRMC received many letters from members of the public opposing the project, more than 10 times the number received in support. Subsequently, The South Kingstown Conservation Commission voted to reject this proposal. The full Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council considered the lease, and could not vote to endorse the project (a victory for opponents). The Waterfront Advisory Committee of the SK Town Council voted, unanimously, to OPPOSE this new farm. The Town Council agreed and sent the recommendation to the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), whose aquaculture sub-committee recently voted unanimously AGAINST the proposal. This non binding recommendation will now be sent to the full CRMC council, who is expected to decide this matter sometime this summer.
Why Are Recreational Users So Concerned?
A current image of the existing farm may shed some light...
Links / Press
Excellent reporting from Sophie Rudin, of the Public's Radio, on the CRMC and Champlain's Marina (Block Island) HERE
A special commission established by the RI House to study the CRMC. HERE.
Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) pens urgent letter to Governor re. CRMC. HERE.
The Providence Journal explores resistance in Tiverton to the taking of public water. Click HERE.
Providence Business News story on CRMC's sub-committee's recent vote to OPPOSE
EcoRi News story "Expired Terms and Illegal Appointments Cast Doubt Over Rhode Island's Powerful Coastal Council"
Balance Needed (scroll down a bit)