House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi today announced the members appointed to serve on a special House commission to study the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Created by legislation (2021-H 6252) sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and approved by the House of Representatives on June 29, the 15-member commission is to comprehensively study and provide recommendations for the reorganization of the CRMC and issue its findings and recommendations by April 1, 2022.

The CRMC is the state’s lead agency reviewing proposals for 19 coastal communities and is charged with offshore wind projects, dredging, development, marinas, and aquaculture. 

The special commission will include Representative Ruggiero, Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport), Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston), Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry), Save The Bay Director of Advocacy Topher Hamblett, Jamestown Town Administrator Jamie Hainsworth; Exeter Town Planner William DePasquale Jr.; Newport City Manager Joe Nicholson Jr., Rhode Island Builders Association CEO John Marcantonio, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association President Richard Hittinger, Rhode Island Shellfisherman’s Association President Michael McGiveney, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Paula Bontempi, Audubon Society of Rhode Island Executive Director Lawrence Taft, New Shoreham Town Councilor Sven Risom and Westerly Town Planner Nancy Letendre.

An organizational meeting will be scheduled soon.

“The CRMC was formed by the General Assembly in 1972. A lot has happened over the past 50 years. I believe it’s time to review coastal management procedures, the composition and experience of the board, and identify opportunities to make the CRMC better for the future of Rhode Island and its residents,” said Representative Ruggiero in a statement. “I look forward to listening and learning from the commission members as well as the public. Transparency is always a good thing in government, and the public’s voice really matters.” 

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).