Past Events

Beach SAMP Stakeholder Meeting, December 1,2016

RI CRMC Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) Stakeholder Meeting

DATE: Thursday, December 1, 2016

TIME: 6-8 pm

LOCATION: URI Narragansett Bay Campus, COASTAL INSTITUTE AUDITORIUM (Building #26 on this map)

TOPIC: RI Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) project updates:

  1. Projected Shoreline Change Maps Geologist Dr. Bryan Oakley will unveil the results of a study to estimate future shoreline change conditions related to sea level rise and erosion rates.
  2. The Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Project manager, Chris Hatfield, from the US Army Corps of Engineers will present an overview of study to evaluate coastal resiliency in the towns of Westerly,Charlestown, South Kingstown, and Narragansett, and identify properties that might be eligible for elevation assistance.


Public notice


RI CRMC Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) Stakeholder August 25, 2016


DATE: Thursday, August 25, 2016

TIME: 6-8 pm


TOPIC: RI Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) project updates:

Statewide Vulnerability Assessment – Presenters will share an analysis of data from the statewide “e-911” database to offer an overview of structures exposed to storm events with and without future sea level rise scenarios for each of the 21 coastal towns in Rhode Island!
Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI) – This proof-of-concept pilot project for two Rhode Island municipalities is applying the best available science to assess risk and levels of damage to coastal structures from erosion, storms, and projected sea level rise so local decision makers have the tools they need to evaluate policy alternatives and implementation projects.


Beach SAMP Stakeholder Meeting May 3, 2016, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer to Speak


The Beach SAMP team is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Oppenheimer will join us to share insight on emerging climate science and trends.

Please join us for the next Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP) meeting:
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
URI Narragansett Bay Campus, Corless Auditorium
Building #2 on this map

Pizza will be served at 5:30p.m. in Corless Auditorium.  Please RSVP if you plan on attending to

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer

Biography for Dr. Michael Oppenheimer

Excerpt from Bio:
Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving recently as a coordinating lead author of both the IPCC’s special report on extreme climate events and disasters (called SREX) and the Fifth Assessment Report. Oppenheimer has been a member of several panels of the National Academy of Sciences and is now a member of the National Academies’ Board on Energy and Environmental Studies. He is also a winner of the 2010 Heinz Award and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. Much of his research aims to understand the potential for “dangerous” outcomes of increasing levels of greenhouse gases by exploring the effects of global warming on the ice sheets and sea level, on the risk from coastal storms, and on patterns of human migration. He also studies the process of scientific learning and scientific assessments and their role in problems of global change.


Beach SAMP Stakeholder Meeting February 2, 2016: RI Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan Project Updates

Thursday, February 4, 2016 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Coastal Institute Auditorium, URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, RI


  1. The Beach SAMP document, Introduction Chapter.
  2. Municipal Outreach in Washington County – overview of worksessions completed for 5 towns in south county.
  3. Shoreline Erosion Mapping Update.
  4. STORMTOOLS Update.
  5. Introduction to the Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI), a new pilot project for 2016

Pizza will be served at 5:30 p.m. in the Coastal Institute Large Conference Room (look for signs when you arrive).  Please RSVP if you plan on attending to


Fall 2015: Municipal Work Sessions on Adaptation Planning

The Beach SAMP team has held multiple municipal work sessions in collaboration with other state agency partners to discuss adaptation planning at the local level.

The purpose of these meetings was to increase awareness of:

  • RI Mapping tools & planning resources available, where to find them(particularly STORMTOOLS);
  • New state planning requirements for climate change and natural hazards, as well as the linkages between comprehensive plans and local hazard mitigation plans; and
  • Example municipal adaptation strategies and where to get more information.

October 2, 2015: Touring the Narrow River Salt Marsh

Friday, October 2, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Narrow River Kayaks, Middlebridge Road, Narragansett

Caitlin Chaffee, coastal policy analyst for the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council, will lead this walking tour of the Narrow River salt marsh and will discuss wetlands loss and the changing marsh landscape, as well as what the CRMC and other organizations are trying to do to preserve marshes.


September 29, 2015: Film Screening of Shored-up and a Beach SAMP Panel Discussion

Tuesday, September 29th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30pm)
Corless Auditorium, URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett, RI (for directions, see:

Screening of the film Shored-Up, an award-winning film about climate change. Shored Up: When Human Nature and the Force of Nature Collide, is a documentary about climate change and sea level rise in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, centered in New Jersey and North Carolina. Shored Up examines the predicament of coastal development. What will a rising sea do to homes, businesses, and the survival of communities?Following the one-hour film, a discussion panel will examine these questions from the Rhode Island perspective. Speakers include Grover Fugate, executive director of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), which is developing comprehensive policy and tools to help coastal communities become more resilient to sea level rise and the flooding and erosion associated with storms. Sponsored by the Beach SAMP, CRC, RI Sea Grant, and CRMC.

September 25, 2015: Erosion Walking Tour


Walking tour of the south coast beaches with Janet Freedman, R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council coastal geologist, see first-hand the effects of coastal processes, including the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, and how people deal with the challenges of living on the Rhode Island coastline. Participants will also learn what to expect in the future with changing climate conditions, and learn about what the CRMC is doing to help coastal communities plan for the future. The tour begins at the South Kingstown Town Beach pavilion and continues to what remains of the Browning Cottages.


Stakeholder Meeting: July 14, 2015

Topic: Developing the Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan


Presentation slides

The SAMP team presented updates on all the current research being conducted, as well as the resources and tools developed to date to help inform decision making with regards to storms, sea level rise, coastal erosion and resilience.  In addition, the draft outline for the management plan was presented and the public process  that will be followed to gather stakeholder feedback and comments. A portion of the meeting was also set aside to gather input from the audience on the draft outline which was available for public comment through August 31st, 2015.

Presentation (with audio).

Rhode Island Sea Grant Coastal State Lecture
Impacts of Climate Change on Septic Systems
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coastal Institute Auditorium, URI Bay Campus, South Ferry Road, Narragansett  Engineering Solutions

Guest speaker Jennifer Cooper, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rhode Island, will discuss how increased surface temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and sea level rise impact conventional septic systems and alternative technologies, and what that could mean for local water resources.  RSVP to  to reserve a place or for more information.

Stakeholder Meeting: April 21, 2015
Coastal Engineering Solutions

Presentation by Christopher P. Jones, P.E. Mr. Jones is a registered professional engineer specializing in coastal hazard identification, hazard mitigation and coastal engineering. He has over 30 years experience as a practicing engineer and has worked throughout the United States and abroad on studies and projects related to flood hazard mapping and map revisions, flood loss estimation modeling, post-disaster damage investigations, flood-resistant design and construction, building codes and standards, coastal setback studies, beach management plans, and beach nourishment.

Stakeholder Meeting: January 20, 2015
STORMTOOLS: Web tools to support coastal resilience analysis and planning for storms and sea level rise in Rhode Island

STORMTOOLS was launched online in draft form December 2014 to provide web-based access to a suite of coastal planning tools (numerical models and others) that allow the Rhode Island user to select a coastal area of interest to access, use and apply high resolution model information. At the simplest level the system can be used to access model predictions (hindcasts and forecasts) for a study area and problem of interest for coastal planners. At a more sophisticated level the system can be used by professionals to perform studies in support of the coastal planning and regulatory communities. The impact of variations in coastal topography (beach erosion and nourishment, dredging, etc.) and implementation of potential shoreline protection strategies can be evaluated for varying return period events, with or without sea level rise.

Stakeholder Meeting: October 22, 2014
Sea Level Rise and the Conservation of Salt Marshes: Issues and Opportunities for Coastal Planning in Rhode Island

Topic: Coastal wetlands, sea level rise, and the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM)
October 22 Meeting Agenda


Introduction & Overview, James Boyd, RI Coastal Resources Management Council (Click here for PDF)

Wenley Ferguson, Save the Bay – Current status of coastal wetlands, monitoring efforts and observations from the field on the impacts of sea level rise (PDF)
Kevin Ruddock, The Nature Conservancy – Overview of Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) (PDF)
James Boyd, RI Coastal Resources Management Council – Summary of SLAMM results, including projected wetland loss/gain, statewide wetland impacts and use of SLAMM maps/data in future planning and management decisions at the state and local level (PDF)
Caitlin Chaffee, RI Coastal Resources Management Council – Using SLAMM to assist in planning, policy and coastal wetland restoration efforts (PDF)

Presentations (with audio):

Stakeholder Meeting: July 24, 2014

It’s now hurricane season! This stakeholder meeting discussed the potential impacts of hurricanes in Rhode Island both now and in the future, as well as what local communities have learned through storm recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy.

Meeting Agenda


Beach SAMP Project Update
Teresa Crean, URI Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant
Grover Fugate, RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Introduction to the Rhode Island Coastal Property Guide
Helen Manning, Rhode Island Natural History Survey
Hurricane Threat and Risk Analysis in Rhode Island
Dr. Isaac Ginis, URI Graduate School of Oceanography
Storm Recovery Following Sandy
Amy Grzybowski, Director of Planning, Code Enforcement & Grant Administration at Town of Westerly, RI
Superstorm Sandy – Impacts and Recovery in Charlestown, Rhode Island
Joe Warner, Building and Zoning Official, Town of Charlestown, RI

Meeting Video:

Stakeholder Meeting: April 3, 2014

This stakeholder meeting focused on various adaptation measures utilized in other coastal states. Presentations included an overview of the Nature Conservancy’s work in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey following Superstorm Sandy and an introduction to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s FORTIFIED program, which helps homeowners reduce home insurance rates by building or retrofitting homes or businesses to be more resilient to storm events and flooding.

Meeting Agenda

A recording of the entire meeting is available below, or here.

January 8, 2014

A special meeting of the RI Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team to review and discuss the Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (SAMP). CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate presented an overview of the Shoreline Change SAMP, its purpose and significance to Rhode Island. Representatives from RI municipalities, the private sector, and other state agencies were in attendance.

Meeting coverage: Providence Journal article | article

December 9, 2013: Stakeholder Meeting – Seawalls:  Property Protection or Public Nuisance

View Meeting Video


View Presentations:

November 25th, 2013: Stakeholder Meeting

Agenda | Notes


July 10th, 2013: Stakeholder Meeting

Issues Identified by Stakeholders at the July 10th 2013 Stakeholder Meeting
Agenda| Notes | Shoreline Change SAMP Factsheet
FEMA Handouts
Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012Questions about the Biggert Waters Reform Act of 2012 | Homeowners Guide to Elevation Certificates | Rebuilding in an AE Zone | Rebuilding in a VE Zone
Shoreline Change SAMP Update & National Flood Insurance Reforms (see below)

Shoreline Change SAMP Update & National Flood Insurance Reforms

April 4th, 2013: Beach SAMP Kick-off Meeting

Meeting Agenda | Meeting Notes | Shoreline Change SAMP Factsheet
Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan Overview (see below)
Examining the Impacts of Hurricane Sandy on Rhode Island: A Serious Wakeup Call
Coastal Geologic Hazards and Sea Level Rise: Climate Change in Rhode Island

Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan Overview