Policy and Management
Development has a close relationship to estuaries. Development in Rhode Island has always been related to the water. As a center for trade and shipbuilding in colonial times to the water powered Slater Mill, Rhode Island's industries all began with water. Today Rhode Island continues to utilize the water as a mainstay of its economy. Narragansett Bay is the center piece of a 2 billion dollar a year tourist industry in Rhode Island. Rhode Island has 28 yacht clubs, 16 boat builders, over 85 marinas and more than 400 miles of coastline. There is also a large lobster and shellfish industry in Rhode Island that depends on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound.
Communities bordering on Narragansett Bay have begun to look at ways to manage their growth and development in a sustainable way. As populations increase, sewer capacity, open spaces, and preservation of the history and culture of communities have become topics of concern that need to be balanced with the creation of jobs and housing. Communities surrounding Greenwich Bay are dealing with these issues as are other communities in Rhode Island that border Narragansett Bay. (see the Rhode Island SeaGrant page at: http://risg.gso.uri.edu/scc/)
As the state looks for new jobs and new industries, growth should be balanced with the health of Narragansett Bay and the existing industries that depend on it. Two major development projects today are the Port of Providence dredging project and the Quonset Point development.
(Image credits are listed in Image Index)