12-R324

2012 -- S 3028

Enacted 06/06/12

 

 

S E N A T E R E S O L U T I O N

SENATE RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE RHODE ISLAND DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN DEVELOPING A STATEWIDE SHELLFISH MANAGEMENT PLAN

 

     

     

     Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, Walaska, Sheehan, Algiere, and Bates

     Date Introduced: May 31, 2012

 

 

     WHEREAS, Rhode Islandís marine waters support a rich array of shellfish resources,

including an abundance of bay quahogs and soft-shelled clams (steamers), as well as mussels,

whelks, and recovering populations of oysters and bay scallops; and

     WHEREAS, The Ocean State possesses these precious resources that are of enormous

importance, stemming from their ecological value and their value as renewable natural resources

that provide food, recreation, jobs, income, and other economic, social, and cultural benefits; and

     WHEREAS, Aquaculture operations are increasingly important contributors to the food

system and the local economy, yet Rhode Island makes only a minor contribution to the annual

one billion dollar United States Aquaculture Industry, ranking at or near the bottom among all

states in terms of aquaculture production; and

     WHEREAS, The ongoing and emerging shellfish restoration initiatives offer significant

opportunities for broad public benefits, but the initiatives are hampered by the non-existence of a

statewide plan or strategy in Rhode Island; and

     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), as

the chief steward of the Stateís natural resources, coordinated with the Rhode Island Marine

Fisheries Council, the Rhode Island fishing community, and the general public to develop and

implement commercial and recreational fishery management programs; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

hereby recognizes and supports interagency collaborations that further Rhode Islandís shellfish

investment strategies for continued growth and for diversification into new opportunities to

ensure long-term viability and sustainability of the industry; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this Senate supports the work of the Department of Environmental

Management (DEM), in collaboration with the Coastal Management Resources Management

Council (CMRC), the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH), and the University of Rhode

Island, in developing a comprehensive state shellfish management plan that includes ways to

further grow the Rhode Island industry, including a review of current regulations as they relate to

shellfish harvesting restoration projects and permitting processes; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this plan shall guide and support regulatory and management

coordination and consistency among state agencies, including DEM, DOH, and CRMC, other

public entities, municipalities, researchers, developers, and environmentalists within Rhode

Islandís state waters, to address short- and long-term strategies for the restoration and expansion

of Rhode Islandís shellfish resources and promotion of job creation and environmental

stewardship; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Mark Gibson, Deputy Chief, Division of Fish

and Wildlife of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Grover Fugate,

Executive Director of the Coastal Resources Management Council.

     

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LC02719

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