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Legislative Oversight The House Bay Trust Study Commission Presented by Sandra T. Whitehouse, Ph.D R.I. Constitution Article 1, Section 17

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Legislative oversight l.jpg

Legislative Oversight

The House Bay Trust Study Commission

Presented by Sandra T. Whitehouse, Ph.D


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R.I. ConstitutionArticle 1, Section 17

…It shall be the duty of the general assembly to provide for the conservation of the air, land, water, plant, animal, mineral and other natural resources of the state, and to adopt all means necessary and proper by law to protect the natural environment of the people of the state by providing adequate resource planning for the control and regulation of the use of the natural resources of the state and for the preservation, regeneration and restoration of the natural environment of the state.


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How have we done?

Planning for the use of Rhode Island’s bays and their watersheds

Environmental management:preservation and restoration

Sustainable economic development

240 planning initiatives past 150 years


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The past twenty years of planning for Narragansett Bay

  • 1985-1992 The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

  • 2000-2003 The Bay Summit and the Partnership for Narragansett Bay (The HUD/Chafee grant)

  • 2003 The Governor’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed Planning Commission


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Process for successful planning and implementation efforts: Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound

1) Assessment of problems

2) Make recommendations, set goals and priorities

3) Develop a plan with strategies to achieve goals

4) Implementation of plan: annual work plans, annual and long-term budgets

5) Evaluation of progress toward goals:monitoring

6) Oversight: accountability

Fiscal

Performance : performance assessment reports


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The past twenty years of planning for Narragansett Bay

  • 1985-1992 The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

  • 2000-2003 The Bay Summit and the Partnership for Narragansett Bay (The HUD/Chafee grant)

  • 2003 The Governor’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed Planning Commission


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History of the CCMP

1) 1985-1991 Scientific Assessment of the bay

2) 1987 Goal setting

3) 1992 CCMP completed (20 year plan)

4) 1992 Implementation committee established

$11 million dollars


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CCMP issues

  • Nutrient reduction

  • Habitat restoration: salt marshes, eelgrass beds

  • Living resources: finfish, shellfish

  • Economic development: commercial, recreational

  • Toxic pollutants

  • Health risk to consumers of seafood


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What happened with the CCMP?

Successes: nutrient reduction

No discharge zone/marina pump out facilities

Greenwich Bay Initiative

Providence combined sewer overflow project


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What happened with the CCMP?

Failures:

Plan deficiencies

Management of living resources

Public participation

Dredged material management plan

Bay governance

Implementation of plan

500 recommendations

Monitoring program

Guide for agency decision making


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History of the CCMP cont.

1985-1991 Scientific Assessment of the bay

1987 Goal setting

1992 CCMP completed (20 year plan)

1992 Implementation committee established

1997 The last Implementation committee meeting held


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Why did this happen?

Problems with the plan

Inadequate oversight



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The past twenty years of planning for Narragansett Bay

  • 1985-1992 The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

  • 2000-2003 The Bay Summit and the Partnership for Narragansett Bay (The HUD/Chafee grant)

  • 2003 The Governor’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed Planning Commission


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Bay Summit 2000

  • Nutrient reduction

  • Habitat restoration: salt marshes, eelgrass beds

  • Economic development: commercial, recreational and research/technology

  • Dredged material management plan

  • Long term monitoring plan

  • Marine Transportation

  • Land use and transportation

  • Urban revitalization

  • Information management

  • Coordination


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The Partnership for Narragansett Bay: The HUD/Chafee Project 2001-2003

  • Review planning history

  • Review economic assessments

  • Develop vision/set goals

  • Monitoring plan


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Goals 2001-2003

  • Economic development that conserves our soul

  • Restoring fish and shellfish

  • Public Access

  • Protecting the landscape (forests, waterfronts and villages)

  • Stewardship and community engagement


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Monitoring 2001-2003

  • Shoreline buffers

  • Water temperature, salinity, pH, nitrogen, phosphorous, oxygen, flow and circulation

  • Fish, shellfish, benthos



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The past twenty years of planning for Narragansett Bay 2001-2003

  • 1985-1992 The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP)

  • 2000-2003 The Bay Summit and the Partnership for Narragansett Bay (The HUD/Chafee grant)

  • 2003 The Governor’s Narragansett Bay and Watershed Planning Commission


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The Governor’s Commission 2003-2006 2001-2003

Develop a plan for the bay

  • Nutrient reduction (2010, removal from WWTFs)

  • Habitat restoration (2008, 100 acres wetlands)

  • Economic development

  • Dredged material management plan (2005)

  • Stormwater management plan (2005)

  • Monitoring program (2004)


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Same issues defined as problems 2001-2003

  • Nutrient reduction

  • Habitat restoration

  • Economic development

  • Dredged material management

  • Monitoring program


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Long Term Monitoring 2001-2003

  • 1992 CCMP not implemented

  • Bay Summit recommendation

  • PNB: Ten indicators defined

  • Governor’s Commission: develop an Interinstitutional Monitoring Council by executive order


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Where are we today? 2001-2003

  • Same issues

  • Same people

  • No workable plan

  • Shifting and unclear goals/policies/priorities

  • Lack of multi-year funding strategy

  • Inadequate monitoring

  • Inadequate coordination



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Legislative Oversight in other Bays 2001-2003

  • Creation of a structure for unified approach and continuity over time that coordinates the work of bay planning

  • Setting goals

  • Annual work plans and associated budgets required to be submitted to legislative environment and fiscal committees

  • Annual performance assessments


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How to ensure a successful planning process this time for Rhode Islands bays and watersheds?

  • Creation of a structure for a coordinated approach and continuity over time

  • Legislative oversight

    • Setting overall goals for the management of natural resources

    • Fiscal accountability: Is money appropriated being properly and efficiently spent in relation to those goals, missions and purposes

    • Performance accountability: Are statutory and/or regulatory goals, missions and purposes being met?


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Summary of Responsibilities Rhode Islands bays and watersheds

  • Executive Branch

    • Plan development

    • Implementation

  • Legislature

    • Goal setting

    • Oversight


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