Rhode Island Sea Grant has just finished an important study which inventories all of the state’s commercial/industrial ports and harbors. The report notes that Rhode Island, the Ocean State, is running out of waterfront property suitable for water-dependent commercial uses:

The processes of creating the GIS‐based Inventory and forming a supportive network of public and private partners have contributed to initiating a rich dialogue amongst government, private sector, and community interests. This is now helping Rhode Island examine how urban waterfronts can be better embraced as tools for important state goals such as the creation of quality jobs, reliance on a mix of traditional and renewable energy resources, and development of a more efficient, effective and secure marine transportation system. All of these goals are illustrative of pressing economic, social, and environmental issues now facing Rhode Island and the New England region.

Within this context – fostering marine‐based industry as one means of solving key problems – the GIS‐based Inventory points to a critical challenge: land appropriate for coastal commercial use, or acreage with adjacent Type 6 waters, is extremely scarce. Timely implementation of balanced planning approaches is sorely needed to integrate and make best use of the remaining parcels’ full array of economic, social, and environmental assets.
— Page 37, Rhode Island Ports & Commercial Harbors report

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