Protect Segar Cove
A 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 Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC, the agency responsible for aquaculture) 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 the plan. The 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 CRMC, whose aquaculture sub-committee studied the issue, holding months of public and expert testimony, concluding that the proposed plan presented a safety issue in Segar Cove and would present unacceptable conflicts with other water dependent activities.
That fully considered negative recommendation was then sent to the CRMC council, where it was, inexplicably, fully ignored. A diminished 'full' council pushed through a 4-2 vote approving the plan, albeit a smaller version, 'modified,' designed, executed and paid for by the CRMC itself.
This conflict, among others, will likely be cited in any appeal the abutting objectors may file, a process we hope will, at least temporarily, maintain the 'farm free' status quo on the cove.
In the meantime, your support is still needed....
Why Are Recreational Users So Concerned?
A current image of the existing farm may shed some light...
Map of proposed aquaculture site is no longer available.
Most details of the CRMC 'modified plan' are unknown..................
Links / Press
Todd Corayer, the Fish Wrap Writer, nails it in this blog post (and Narragansett Times story) HERE
EcoRI news story on Special Commission studying CRMC is HERE
Subcommittee's "Decision" document to be forwarded to full Council
RICAC letter to Special Commission studying the CRMC
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)
Rhode Island Monthly Magazine swings and...misses (for analysis see "News" page)