Guide helps RI homeowners, businesses protect property from flooding, erosion


A new guide offers steps homeowners and businesses can take to protect coastal property from storm flooding and shoreline erosion. 

“Rhode Island Coastal Property Guide: What Coastal Property Owners, Renters, Builders and Buyers Should Know About Rhode Island’s Shoreline” is available free online ( or as a hard-copy booklet (email: It provides checklists and information to help readers determine their risks for flooding and erosion and learn practical activities they can undertake to protect their property.  

The guide is produced by the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center (URI CRC)/Rhode Island Sea Grant. 

“People who live at the coast or own businesses there are telling me more and more that they are worried about what’s going to happen to their properties, and they want to know what to do about the impacts we are seeing from storms and sea level rise,” Grover Fugate, CRMC executive director, said in a statement. “The guide gives people practical ways they can start adapting to these significant impacts associated with living near the shore.”  

“Rising sea level and extreme weather events resulting from global warming will have a significant impact on Rhode Island in the years to come,” said URI Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Bruce Corliss. “The Rhode Island Property Guide will provide timely and valuable information for residents and businesses to address these threats and is the result of the ongoing collaboration between URI CRC, CRMC, and Rhode Island Sea Grant to address the needs of Rhode Island’s coastal communities.” 

Rhode Island Sea Grant Director Dennis Nixon said the guide is an example for coastal communities throughout the United States addressing the same challenges.

“We’ve brought the best science in to inform this guidance, which is certainly applicable to shoreline communities in many states,” said Nixon. 

The 30-page guide contains information about the unique circumstances – natural and regulatory – that affect property in the coastal zone. The information is provided in 10 sections and covers a range of areas from setbacks to septic systems.  

The guide is part of the Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP), a state effort developing comprehensive and practical regulatory guidance for coastal adaptation to flooding, storm surge, erosion and sea level rise. CRMC, URI CRC, Sea Grant and a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management entity, the Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team, funded the guide project. For more information on the Beach SAMP, go to


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