ENVIRONMENT

Town seeks answers to beach erosion

‘The cost of moving each individual cottage would be up to the owner.’

PBN PHOTO/BRIAN MCDONALD
LIFE'S A BEACH: Tara Mulroy, owner of Tara's Tipperary Tavern, surveys her business' damaged beach deck. Her lawyer says she is seeking options to protect the business.
Posted 5/28/12

(Updated May 30, 2012)

With beach erosion threatening to cut a piece of South Kingstown from the mainland, the Coastal Resources Management Council has approved a $700,000 plan to allow the town to build a retaining wall along Matunuck Beach Road. But the plan is merely a stopgap to allow the town and residents to find a long-term solution to a problem threatening to wash away businesses and homes in coastal communities across the state.

“The overall plan is for CRMC to establish what they find as an experimental beachfront,” said South Kingstown Town Manager Stephen A. Alfred. “They should establish rules for the property owners, who would then be able to try innovative technology for abating or minimizing future erosion.” They include potentially costly options such as importing sand to build up the beach and a series of smaller retaining walls to help keep the sand from washing away.
“The question is, ‘Is the characteristic of our beach, the slope of the beach itself, conducive to any of those technologies?’ ” Alfred said.
Some winters and springs are relatively mild when it comes to offshore storms moving inland. In those years the beachfront remains calm and unchanged. However, there are times when Mother Nature releases a Nor’easter that rips the coast apart, bringing waves that take tons of sand from the beach. Some sand might later return to the coast by natural causes, but there is always a net loss, a situation that gets worse each passing year.
An aggressive plan to stem erosion was first laid out last year when South Kingstown submitted an application to CRMC in September, proposing construction of a steel and concrete wall with riprap stone armaments along a 200-foot span of Matunuck Beach Road. The council denied the “special exception” proposal by a 7-2 vote on April 10. On April 24, the council entertained another proposal by the town, asking CRMC to reclassify 1,400 feet of the shoreline from “coastal headlands, bluffs and cliffs” to “manmade shoreline,” in order to allow construction of a retaining sea wall. That motion was voted down by a 6-2 margin due to fears of setting a precedent, but CRMC didn’t slam the door shut.

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Don't hesitate. Register today!
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News