State House Commission Studying Economic Impact of Sea Rise Will Focus on Newport on Thursday

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Photo by Marial Maher/Visual Manor

The House Commission on Economic Risk Due to Flooding and Sea Rise will meet Thursday to study the potential financial effects rising sea levels could have on Newport.

Newport is one of three coastal areas in the state the commission is using as case studies to shed light on the potential effects of sea rise on Rhode Island’s economy. The commission discussed Westerly and the Port of Providence at previous meetings.

The meeting is scheduled Thursday, Jan. 21, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 101 on the first floor of the State House.

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On the agenda are presentations by:

  • Melissa Barker, City of Newport, Geographic Information System Coordinator
  • Teresa Crean, University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, Coastal Manager
  • Paul Carroll, City of Newport, Civic Investment Director

Although no public testimony will be taken at this meeting, it is open to the public and the media.

The commission, which is led by Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), was established to provide information including economic risks to Rhode Island municipalities, businesses and the investment community so that they may factor sea rise and flooding into their short- and long-term decision making. It is also charged with making recommendations to the General Assembly about further steps to maintain the value of public and private property and revenue, to define adaptation strategies, to better understand the cost of inaction, and to examine new approaches to understand and address the business risks associated with sea rise and storm surge.

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Chris Electric