Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council: Please Reject the proposed construction plan that could destroy Ruggles Surf Break
  • Petitioned COA

This petition was delivered to:


Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council: Please Reject the proposed construction plan that could destroy Ruggles Surf Break

    1. Petition by

      Clean Ocean Access

May 2013


From Petition Creator: We won based on the active involvement of the community across the world rallying together to voice their opinion and getting involved with the various activities. We took a little-bad and turned it into a-lot-of-good and the city/state/federal agencies are now our partners. Thank you very much and please stay in touch with us at cleanoceanaccess.org The battle we win today is the battle we fight tomorrow, but the battle we lose today we've lost forever. Now is the time, more than ever, to get actively involved in your community. Thank you.

The Department of Transportation has submitted a proposal to the Coastal Resources Management Council to repair the damage done to the Cliff Walk by Tropical Storm Sandy.

The construction proposal involves the "placement of permanent fill (armor stone) below the Mean High Water elevation of 2.43 feet." According to the Department of Transportation's application, "The project begins at the Breakers at Ruggles Avenue and Continues to Bailey's Beach at Bellevue Avenue," spanning the entirety of the beloved Ruggles Point surf area. In order for the Contractor to access the work site, "a maximum of four temporary causeways would be constructed." The causeways would be a massive 200 ft. by 40 feet long and the project would result in the placement of approximately 730 cubic yards of below the mean high water line. Including the size of the temporary causeways, the construction project would result in the total placement of 3,024 cubic yards of armor stone, obstructing the reef, disturbing the natural tides, and, in the process, destroying the waterfront, marine life, and historic surf breaks that we all know and love. 

In addition to this project potentially destroying the waterfront along the Cliff Walk, it is also illlegal according to the rules of the CRMC, which prohibit "filling" and any activities that would create an "adverse impact to coastal resources, water-dependent uses, or the public's use and enjoyment of the shoreline and waters" in tidal waters.  The CRMC also prohibits "new developement" on moderately developed Coastal Barriers, stating that "activity must be confined to the existing footprint of disturbance." 

While Clean Ocean Access supports the restoration of the Cliff Walk for safety and accessibility to the public, the natural environment and surf breaks along the walk should not have to suffer as a result.  This is a cause for surfers, fishermen, walkers and environmentalists alike. This petition urges the CRMC to save a Rhode Island Jewel simply by adhering to its own rules.There is not limit on how many signatures are necessary. The more, the better!

View the Clean Ocean Access page for more information:


View the CRMC permit request here:


View more about the project here:


View some classification and rules for shoreline areas:


Please send a letter of protest to the CRMC: 

Grover Fugate
Executive Director
Coastal Resources Management Council
Stedman Government Center - Suite 116
4808 Tower Hill Road
Wakefield, RI 02879-1900

Then send the document via email to:


Please reject the current construction plan proposed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for repairs to the Newport, RI Cliff Walk until proper studies have been conducted to ensure the best possible solution for making repairs to the Cliff Walk while having the least amount of impact on the marine environment.

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 6,000 signatures
    2. We are making a difference! Thank you

      Thank you for supporting the petition. It is great to witness the enormous flow of support for making sure the cliff walk repairs are performed correctly, and this support has come from around the world! Policy makers are taking action and organizations have listened to our concerns, things are going in the right direction. But this isn’t over; in fact it has just started. As we were told a long time ago by a volunteer’s mom “The environment battle we win today is the battle we fight tomorrow, but the battle we lose today is something that we’ve lost forever”. So now, more than ever, this is the time to get involved (and stay involved) with taking good care of the environment. Get involved with Clean Ocean Access, Join Surf Rider, find a local group in your area and volunteer your time. This entire event has shown that we can make a difference by working together! Thank you.

    3. Reached 4,000 signatures
    4. Update: Newport City Council Meeting

      The proposed Cliff Walk construction will be on the docket Newport City council Meeting next Wednesday, April 10th at 6:30 PM. Please sign the petition and, if possible, show up to the meeting in person. The more signatures and bodies we have, the stronger our case will be for an environmentally responsible repair.

    5. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sam Moorhead DEDHAM, MA
      • 11 months ago

      This is one of my favorite surf spots that will be destroyed forever

    • David Sousa SAN DIEGO, CA
      • 11 months ago

      I grew up in RI and surf Ruggles once or twice a year when I'm home visiting. It's part of our heritage and for me, it's a huge part of what the "Breakers" and Newport is.

      • 11 months ago

      Feel very strongly about it: went to URI, lived in Narragansett, and swam Save the Bay.

    • Loretta Lee VENICE, CA
      • 11 months ago

      because I love the earth and her oceans...

    • Matthew Crimi EAST ATLANTIC BEACH, NY
      • 12 months ago

      This is the first place I felt happy and alive after the death of my father, when I was 7 years old. I am 37 years old now and this is the place that my love of life began. I have been to 54 countries and I would trade that experience to keep Ruggles.


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