BIC’s Opposition to the Champlin’s Marina Expansion
Since 2003, the Town of New Shoreham, Committee for the Great Salt Pond, Block Island Land Trust, and Block Island Conservancy have worked to prevent the expansion of Champlin’s Marina into the Great Salt Pond, a development that would significantly displace the other uses in the Pond, including the navigational channel and the Town’s mooring field, as well as irreparably damaging the environmental health of the Pond.
The Coastal Resource Management Council, the state regulatory agency that controls waterfront permitting, unanimously denied Champlin’s proposed expansion in 2011 and 2013. In 2020, the Rhode Island Superior Court denied Champlin’s appeal. Currently, Champlin’s subsequent appeal sits with the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Despite all this, in late December 2020, the CRMC entered into closed-session mediation with Champlin’s Marina and granted them a significant dock expansion. Only the Town of New Shoreham had been invited to participate in this mediation session and declined because CRMC had no jurisdiction over the case as it still remains with the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The Town Council was assured by CRMC’s counsel that no mediation would take place if they did not opt to participate. None of the other groups (the Committee for the Great Salt Pond, the Block Island Land Trust, and the Block Island Conservancy) was ever notified of the mediation.
On February 16, 2021, the Town of New Shoreham, Committee for the Great Salt Pond, Block Island Land Trust, and Block Island Conservancy filed an objection with the Rhode Island Supreme Court to the agreement reached by Champlin’s and CRMC. You can read a press release detailing the filing under “Recent News”.
Baerlein & Partners has been retained by the Committee for the Great Salt Pond to assist with communications and to raise the profile of this story at the Rhode Island state level.