RI Supreme Court Denies Block Island Marina Expansion

Block Island's Great Salt Pond. Photo: Mona Makela via Shutterstock

October 14, 2022 (PROVIDENCE, RI) – The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled today that a long-proposed expansion of Champlin’s Marina on Block Island must not move forward. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has been involved in the fight to stop the expansion since it was proposed in 2003 and released the following statement in response.

“Today’s decision is a major victory for Block Island,” said CLF attorney James Crowley. “The Great Salt Pond is one of the state’s pristine environmental gems, and this huge proposed expansion of the marina would permanently scar it. After almost two decades, this should be the end of the expansion effort.”

The case began in 2003 when Champlin’s Marina filed an application with the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) to expand the marina in Block Island’s Great Salt Pond. The expansion was opposed by CLF and other environmental groups, including the Committee for the Great Salt Pond. In January 2011, the CRMC denied the expansion permit, and Champlin’s appealed to the Superior Court. Rhode Island’s Superior Court ruled in 2020 that the CRMC decision to deny the permit was the correct one, and the Supreme Court upheld that ruling today.

CLF experts are available for further comment.