A special House commission to study the Coastal Resources Management Council will meet for the first time Wednesday, according to a press release from the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Created by legislation (2021-H 6252) sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown), 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 study commission’s first meeting is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m. in Room 35 on the basement level of the State House.

The meeting will include the election of a chairperson, the introduction of the commission’s members and a roundtable discussion of what the commission’s members hope to accomplish. No public testimony will be taken at this meeting.

The meeting will be televised on Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15, and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1061, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers. It will also be live streamed at http://rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx

 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.

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