Save The Bay protests Matunuck seawalls in letter to CRMC
SAVE THE BAY Executive Director Jonathan Stone has written a letter to the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council arguing against the seawalls that it claims were illegally installed in Matunuck over the past several years.
PROVIDENCE – Save The Bay is urging the Coastal Resources Management Council to require property owners in Matunuck to remove shoreline walls that it claims were illegally installed in the past several years.
“CRMC has failed to comply with its statutory responsibilities by allowing illegal walls to remain in place at the expense of our coastal resources,” Save The Bay Executive Director Jonathan Stone wrote in a July 30 letter to CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate and members of the council.
“As you know, CRMC issued notices of violation and/or cease and desist orders to seven property owners along the Matunuck beach shoreline, some dating back to December 2010,” said Stone. “The property owners were advised that the construction of shoreline protection facilities without an assent constituted a violation of the Coastal Resources Management Program.”
While Stone said, “Save The Bay sympathizes with the plight of homeowners and business owners confronting the inevitable loss of coastal property along our south shore due to erosion and rising sea levels,” he pointed out the long-term consequences of the structures.
“Seawalls exacerbate erosion at adjacent beaches and neighboring properties,” said Stone.
A CRMC spokeswoman Laura Dwyer issued the followering comment in response to Save The Bay’s letter:
“As Save The Bay indicates in its letter and news release, the CRMC held enforcement along that stretch in Matunuck in abeyance while short and long-term solutions were being developed – public meetings and workshops, the Town of South Kingstown’s application, the Beach SAMP and our Experimental Erosion Control regulations – and we made it clear at the beginning that once those things were in place, the CRMC would come to call on the outstanding enforcement issues. The CRMC has given the violators the opportunity to apply for experimental erosion control measures, and only received one application. Now, we have planned for a systematic redressing of the outstanding violations, beginning at our August Council meeting. We absolutely agree with Save The Bay that violators of our coastal program must be held accountable.”