The national media has again picked up on the concerns of a vocal minority here in the Ocean State. No, I’m not talking about small government libertarians, this one is a constituency that actually exists in Rhode Island outside of politics. Surfers.
Environmentalists, beach bums, wave junkies and the tourist industry have joined forces recently to “Save Ruggles,” the state’s most famous surf break and one of the best waves on the East Coast. You can sign the petition here.
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Newport City Council “is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday asking the state to modify its plans in order to save the waves.”
The Coastal Resources Management Council, in determining how to repair the hurricane-damaged Cliff Walk, has suggested ruining one of the best breaks on the East Coast, rather than disrupt the lawns of those who own the seaside mansions nearby.
From the WSJ:
The state could do the work from land, but that would mean setting up construction sites in high season on estates that have all sorts of idiosyncrasies, from elaborate shrubbery to underground tunnels, Mr. Smith said.
Some mansion owners, he said, haven’t provided access in past Cliff Walk repairs. So the plan is to bring in the support stones by barge and then build temporary jetties, each 200 feet out into the water, to hold the stones until the construction work is completed in November.
The surfers argue that the jetties, temporary or not, would forever alter the ocean floor and their waves.
Not familiar with the local surf break? Watch this video: