Dear Members and Supporters,
As you may know, the Island received a shock when the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) announced in January that they had awarded Champlin’s Marina an approval to extend their marina by 156’ out into the Great Salt Pond after closed door negotiations with Champlin’s and without any notice to the Public. The Committee for the Great Salt Pond, with its allies, the Town of New Shoreham, the Block Island Land Trust, and the Block Island Conservancy immediately objected to this unlawful procedure and started a dedicated campaign to not only force the CRMC to rescind this illegitimate marina expansion approval but also to make sure this kind of back room dealing can never happen again.
We took the following steps:
- Started a public awareness campaign with notices to our members and supporters, the Town and the other opposing organizations, other Rhode Island environmental organizations, and even the RI Attorney General’s Office.
- We notified the press, through press releases, letters to the editor, and by enlisting Jim Hummel, Investigative Reporter, to do a special investigation on how Champlin’s attorneys could convince the CRMC to grant them a new marina assent, without any public hearings, as are required by the CRMC’s own regulations.
- We, with the other objecting parties, filed legal briefs to the Rhode Island Superior and Supreme Courts, where this case is currently residing,
- We engaged a professional strategic communications firm to work with us to get our message out that unless everyone takes action, this “raw deal” could happen to any other coastal community.
- And we have reached out to our members and supporters to donate to this cause, which is, in our view, the fight of the decade to stop the overdevelopment of the Island’s most important resource, the Great Salt Pond.
And the Good News is that our efforts are starting to show early results:
- The Town and the other opposition groups have come onboard to fully support and back our efforts,
- The Attorney General has filed a brief with the RI Supreme Court stating that the CRMC’s back room dealing were illegal and completely contrary to CRMC’s own requirements for public hearings for any new marina expansion project.
RI AG petitions to intervene in marina expansion in Block Island’s Great Salt Pond
Neronha looks to get involved in Block Island marina case (providencejournal.com)(Jim Hummel follow up)
AG’s office getting involved in Champlin’s case | Block Island Times
MOU scant on details | Block Island Times
- Numerous articles in the press and letters to the editor have shone a light on what happened and raised public awareness of our situation.
CGSP Press Release January 11th
Champlin’s and CRMC mediate court case without town | Block Island Times
Legal battle over Block Island marina expansion takes turn(Providence Business News)
Block Island girds for next battle in development wars (New London DAY)
- Jim Hummel Investigate Reports came out to the Island, interviewed the key players and published a report which covered 80% of the front page of the Providence Sunday Journal on Sunday February 7th.
Opponents of Block Island’s Champlin’s Marina angered over ‘backroom deal’ (providencejournal.com)
Includes video clip with 8 minutes of interviews of Clair, Andre, and Henry
- Our appeal to the RI Senate to hold up the renominations of the CRMC members who voted in favor of granting the marina expansion, in closed session, was successful. Senate President Ruggieri tabled the Senate vote to confirm their renomination.
Senate delays CRMC board confirmations amid Block Island marina controversy – Providence Business News (pbn.com)
Secret Expansion of Block Island Marina Pushes CRMC Board’s Deficiencies Into Spotlight’s Bright Glare – ecoRI News
- Our Attorney, Dan Prentiss filed legal briefs with the Supreme Court which explicitly detail the back-room dealings, asking that they be overturned.
- Our strategic communications partner is working to further raise public awareness to this case. Please find their latest press release on our legal filings to the Supreme Court linked in our “update” section.
CGSP Press Release: Committee files Brief with RI Supreme Court
- CFTGSP Supporters Show Outrage, through a compilation of Letters to the Editor in the Block Island Times.
- Our fundraising outreach campaign is progressing well, but donations have not reached the level we need to ensure a successful outcome. Please support our cause to keep the Great Salt Pond and the other waters of the State free from unregulated marina development.