WESTERLY — The state Coastal Resources Management Council will conduct a preliminary determination meeting Thursday on a 6-acre, bottom culture oyster farm proposed for the northeast corner of Quonochontaug Pond. The meeting is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall.
Bradley Boehringer, owner of West Kingston-based Rocky Rhode Oyster Co., has submitted a preliminary application to lease a section of the pond. Aside from buoys that CRMC requires to mark anchor lines and site corners, there will be no gear associated with the growing operation. The oysters would be harvested using a rake, dredge and by diving, according to the pre-application.
Access to the site would be by boat via a boat launch ramp on West Beach Road in Charlestown. Boehringer, according to his preliminary application, plans to buy seed from local growers and to sell oysters he grows locally. He has run a 2-acre commercial oyster farm in Point Judith Pond since 2016 and has run out of space there. Boehringer declined to comment for this article.
At the meeting, CRMC Aquaculture Coordinator David Beutel will discuss the proposed project with all of the agencies and entities in attendance. The agencies and entities might offer feedback and Beutel may accept comments from the public, according to Laura Dwyer, CRMC spokeswoman.
Boehringer will have an opportunity to amend his application based on feedback from the meeting and can then file a final application with CRMC. A 30 day notice period would be announced as part of a final application.
Requests from objectors for a public hearing can be made during the notice period. The final application would be reviewed by CRMC and other state and federal agencies. CRMC could approve the proposal if there were no objections or schedule a public hearing in the event objections are raised.