After closed-door negotiations with Champlin’s Marina and without any notice to the public, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) announced in January of 2021 that it had agreed to allow Champlin’s Marina’s bid to extend the marina by 156’ into the Great Salt Pond. The Rhode Island Supreme Court on March 21, 2021, properly rejected Champlin’s and the CRMC’s attempt to legalize that “backroom deal” since the Committee for the Great Salt Pond and other Block Island intervenors, including the Town of New Shoreham, the Block Island Land Trust and the Block Island Conservancy were not involved in the alleged mediation process between Champlin’s and the CRMC.
But be aware: The parties that favor intrusion into Great Salt Pond are still appealing the Superior Court decision from 2020 that rejected expansion, even after 18 years of failed administrative and legal attempts. The Committee for the Great Salt Pond and its allies, including the Town of New Shoreham, the Block Island Land Trust and the Block Island Conservancy are dedicated to stopping the Champlin’s expansion. We will continue our vigilance until the state Supreme Court renders a decision later this year.