A new special legislative committee that will study the issue of public access to the shoreline will hold its first meeting Thursday.

The Special Legislative Commission to Study and Provide Recommendations on the Issues Relating to Lateral Access Along the Rhode Island Shoreline will meeting Thursday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. in Room 35 on the basement level of the State House.

Under the resolution (2021-H 5469A) that created it, which was sponsored by Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) and passed by the House in June, the 12-member special legislative commission will study and provide recommendations on the issues relating to lateral access along the Rhode Island shoreline, with a goal of reporting back to the General Assembly next spring.

Thursday’s meeting will be organizational, with the commission electing a chairperson and vice chairperson, reviewing the committee’s purpose, and scheduling its next meeting. No public testimony will be taken at this meeting.

The commission includes Representative Cortvriend, Rep. Blake A. Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly); Michael Rubin, who will serve as a resident of a coastal community; Coastal Resources Management Council Executive Director Jeffrey Willis; David Splaine, representing the Rhode Island Realtors Association; Julia Wyman, representing the Marine Affairs Institute and Rhode Island Sea Grant legal program at Roger Williams University; Dennis Nixon of the Marine Affairs Department at University of Rhode Island; Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone; land use attorney Mark P. McKenney; Mark Boyer of the Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors; retired Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Francis X. Flaherty; and Alison Hoffman, Special Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Unit.

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