ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Free Admission to the Westerly Armory and Museum
10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Westerly

Stability Ball Fitness Class
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Westerly

... View all of today's events


Stay Connected


ADVERTISEMENT


Beach sand plan: You have a voice


As workers continue to truck in and spread sand over the Misquamicut beach area on Monday, members of a global consortium promoting environmentally friendly and “green” approaches to everything from urban zoning to the rebuilding of third-world villages will be touring the site to determine how best to retain the beach as we know it in the face of future storms and the overriding elements of climate change.

The workers are employed in a mission designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore sand swept away by decades of storms, the most noteworthy in recent years being Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Those touring the same area will be led by the organization Global Green USA, an environmental advocacy organization and an affiliate of Green Cross International, an organization founded in 1993 by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to promote a global approach to ecological and environmental problems.

Accompanying them and local officials on the tour will be representatives of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. They’ll all be here as the result of a grant prepared by Westerly Town Planner Marilyn Shellman. Shellman was successful in convincing Global Green USA to select Westerly as one of eight communities to help this year through the U.S. EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

What it all comes down to is that the town will receive $20,000 worth of technical assistance from Global Green through an EPA grant, and a report with recommendations for how to make Misquamicut sustainable into the future.

Amy Grzybowski, who leads the town’s planning department and oversees grants, said the report could help create a new roadmap regarding zoning in the Misquamicut area in an attempt to better prepare for impending changes wrought by climate change. She noted that some projections for the Westerly coastline envision Atlantic Avenue covered by water. All of which brings into question the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan for that 84,000 cubic yards of sand being trucked in daily on a schedule that calls for the completion of this $3.1 million project by June 1. In the end, the beach is supposed to look the same way it did in the 1960s, with triple the depth from the dunes to the water.

While we are supportive of our tourism-based economy at the beach, we can’t help but see the Army Corps project as a large-scale version of children buttressing sand castles against the onslaught of the waves. Even on a pleasant day in August, the waves win out every time — they call it nature.

The Global Green project sounds intriguing and the public has a chance to take part. The group is scheduled to tour the area starting at the old Westerly Town Beach from 10 a.m. to noon Monday and then conduct a community discussion on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Town Hall.

The public is invited to both, and considering Tuesday’s discussion is intended to focus on the future look of the Misquamicut area, it sounds like an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.



Back to LatestNews
Top Stories of the Week

Westerly man dies after fall at former Copar Quarry …
WESTERLY — A 28-year-old local man has died after sustaining serious injuries when he fell more than 80 feet at the former Copar Quarry in … more ...

Police: Man broke into home ‘to be closer to girlfriend’ …
WAKEFIELD — A 20-year-old homeless man has been ordered held after police said he had broke into a home across from his girlfriend and began … more ...

Memorial Day parades: Your guide to when and where …
Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the American military, and for many is considered the unofficial start of the … more ...

Train incident leads to charges for Florida man …
WESTERLY — A 39-year-old Florida man is facing charges after police said he was behaving strangely and using a knife to cut himself while riding … more ...

Westerly man charged in domestic assault case …
WESTERLY — A local man is facing charges for the third time after he was arrested and charged with domestic assault on Wednesday. Westerly police … more ...

Comments