About Us

View Organizational Chart and Committee List

This project is being led by the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council. Among other responsibilities, CRMC is charged with managing the state’s submerged lands. CRMC has already zoned Rhode Island’s near-shore waters for a variety of uses, from industrial ports to conservation areas. CRMC has also designated the offshore waters that comprise the Ocean SAMP area as “multipurpose.” This SAMP will refine that single, broad zone into more specific use zones.

Other participants include the University of Rhode Island (URI), federal agencies such as the Minerals Management Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which have authority in federal waters, and state agencies including the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.




Project Manager: Grover Fugate, Executive Director, R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council

Senior Advisor: Dennis Nixon, Associate Dean for Research & Administration, URI Graduate School of Oceanography

Senior Advisor: Malcolm Spaulding, URI Professor of Ocean Engineering

Co-Principal Investigator, Policy & Outreach: Jennifer McCann, Leader of the Sustainable Coastal Communities Program for Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center (CRC)

Co-Principal Investigator, Data Acquisition: Sam De Bow, Manager of Research Operations and Special Projects, URI Graduate School of Oceanography

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The Ocean SAMP Subcommitee makes its recommendation to the Council as to what policies and regulations should be included in the Ocean SAMP.

Members: Michael Tikoian (Chair), Paul Lemont, Don Gomez, Dave Abedon, Robert Driscoll

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Members: Scott Nixon, URI GSO (Co-Chair); Carlton Hunt, Battelle Ocean Sciences, Duxbury, MA (Co-Chair); Robert Beardsley, WHOI, emeritus; Roman Zajac, Biology Dept., University of New Haven; Robert Buchsbaum, Massachusetts Audubon; Caroly Shumway; Jon Boothroyd, Geology, URI; RI State Geologist; Jonathan Garber, Director, US EPA Atlantic Ecology Laboratory; Jeremy Collie, Oceanography, URI; Candace Oviatt, Oceanography, URI; Jim Yoder, WHOI; Osvaldo Sala, Brown University
View Biographies

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CRMC Legal Counsel, Brian Goldman, is responsible for all Legal aspects of the Ocean SAMP effort.

Members: Brian Goldman, CRMC (Chair), Roger Williams University, Adler Pollack & Sheehan, Conservation Law Foundation, Rhode Island Advocacy Center, Save the Bay, State of RI Attorney General’s Office.

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The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), created in 1971 by the Rhode Island General Assembly, is charged with the responsibility to “preserve, protect, develop and where possible, restore the coastal resources of the state.”

Since that time, the council has developed landmark management programs, policies, and regulations that expand on its legislative authority and initiatives. The CRMC has been a long-time leader in coastal zone management. For example, the CRMC Coastal Zone Management Act was developed a year before the national act, and portions of the national act have been copied from the Rhode Island act.

The CRMC was also one of the first federally approved programs in the nation, and developed the nation’s first non-point pollution program, along with its state partners, which was used by the federal government as a model. The CRMC is also a recognized national leader in developing comprehensive Special Area Management Plans (SAMPs). Since 1983, the council has developed and adopted five of these plans, and is currently developing an Aquidneck Island SAMP for the west side of the island. These Special Area Management Plans are recognized by NOAA as the most advanced coastal planning tool in use.

In its 38 years, the council has been granted by the General Assembly the responsibility for investigating and designating rights-of-way to the shore, authority for aquaculture permitting, jurisdiction over freshwater wetlands in the vicinity of the coast, is the primary agency for coastal habitat restoration, and is the state’s primary dredging entity, as well as other responsibilities. The CRMC has also been recognized as the regional model for dredging and habitat restoration by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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The University of Rhode Island, the state’s Land, Sea, and Urban Grant public research institution, is the only public institution in Rhode Island offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the distinctive educational opportunities of a major research university. URI’s education, research, and outreach programs serve Rhode Island and beyond.

URI researchers have a major impact on issues that affect the region, the nation, and the world. The ongoing research projects at URI not only affect regional health and environmental issues but also affect critical issues that bear on our planet and all of its inhabitants. Outreach connects the university in mutually beneficial relationships through the exchange and application of knowledge with audiences in the state, nation, and world. For over 35 years, URI outreach and extension programs have engaged in integrated coastal resources management all over the world and have played a leadership role in the creation of all of Rhode Island’s SAMPs.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett is a leading institute of ocean education and research that span the core disciplines of marine geology and geophysics, biology, atmospheric and ocean chemistry, and physics.

A new Center of Excellence for Research on Offshore Renewable Energy is now in place at URI. This Center coordinates and expands research in this area that is conducted at the Graduate School of Oceanography and the Colleges of Environment and Life Sciences, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences. The vision of this new Center is to advance R&D in the areas of offshore wind, current, wave, and thermal energy to position the state of Rhode Island as the national leader in ocean energy. Expertise of our researchers include leading wind and storm research; wind measurement; modeling expertise in ocean/atmosphere circulation, currents, and waves; leading state-of-the art research in offshore oil and gas seafloor foundations; materials; ocean engineering; marine policy; artificial reefs; and marine environmental protection policy.

The Coastal Resources Center at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography is dedicated to advancing coastal management worldwide. In addition to assisting in the development and implementation of coastal management programs in Rhode Island and the United States, the Center is active in countries throughout the world promoting the sustainable use of coastal resources for the benefit of all. Implementing coastal management projects in the field, building capacity through education and training, and sharing lessons learned and information throughout the coastal community are the foundation of the Coastal Resources Center’s work.

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Rhode Island Sea Grant is a federal-state-university partnership based at the University of Rhode Island that designs and supports research, extension, legal, education, and communications programs that foster stewardship of coastal and marine resources for the public good. Rhode Island Sea Grant is one of 32 programs that make up the National Sea Grant College Program, a part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Rhode Island Sea Grant collaborates with federal, state, and local partners to achieve its goals. Administrative offices are located at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.

Rhode Island Sea Grant recognizes the challenges posed by human-dominated coastal ecosystems. The program addresses these challenges through efforts in two core themes—Sustainable Coastal Communities & Ecosystems and Sustainable Fisheries.

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