This week, the City of Newport’s planning board unanimously approved a city ordinance that bans the use of single-use plastic bags in all three communities on Aquidneck Island! Clean Ocean Access Executive Director, Dave McLaughlin, presented the draft ordinance and answered questions from planning board members on Monday night, before the vote took place. Dave McLaughlin initiated the drive to ban the bag and was the main author on the ordinance.
The purpose of the ordinance is to improve the environment and reduce the amount of plastic in surrounding waterways. The ordinance encourages everyone to bring reusable bags to carry out items from stores and restaurants. The ordinance states, “The bag must be made from washable cloth, other durable woven or non-woven fabric, or durable plastic film that is recyclable plastic with a minimum thickness of four mils.”
The goal among supporters of the plastic bag ban is to have city and town ordinances in place in all three Aquidneck Island communities by Earth Day, April 22, 2017.
In the spirit of transparency…
our Annual Reports and IRS Tax Returns are available for your review on our reports page. You will notice a tiny discrepancy between total revenue on the AR versus the IRS filing as the IRS guidelines require reducing revenue by fundraising event costs. If there are any questions about our report or filing, please contact us at email@example.com
Clean Ocean Access (COA) performed a coastal cleanup at Weaver Cove, Portsmouth Rhode Island on January 9th 2016 where 11 people removed 1,248 pounds of small to medium size marine debris as part of the Marine Debris Solutions Lifecycle Project (MDSLP). Of the 1,556 items removed, cigarette butts remained the highest count with 638 found along the boat ramp and shoreline, however a large amount of plastic bags (78) and plastic bottles (78) were also a problem. The most discouraging part of this event was the illegal dumping that continues along the beautiful shoreline of Portsmouth including 4 Flat screen televisions, a 6-channel amplifier, 1 sink garbage disposal, 1 mattress, a huge panel of broken glass and 2 tires. We thoroughly cleaned this exact area on October 18th 2014 so this stuff was illegally dumped since that time. We support increased environmental enforcement, but we are likely dealing with a few rotten people and hopefully bringing this awareness will prevent it from happening in the future. We are grateful for the Town of Portsmouth, as well as Middletown and Newport with helping with the post-event debris removal from our events.
Clean Ocean Access (COA) performed a coastal cleanup at Easton’s Beach, Newport Rhode Island on January 2nd 2016 where 41 people removed 203 pounds of small to medium size marine debris as part of the Marine Debris Solutions Lifecycle Project (MDSLP). A great team effort including students from Pell School, Rogers High School “The Newport Project”, Wheeler School in Providence and folks from the communities of Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Little Compton and Jamestown.
Of the 1,780 items removed, cigarette butts remained the highest count with 438 found along the walkway and shoreline, however a large amount of plastic bags (176) and plastic bottles (98) were also a problem. COA reported “We are almost at the finish line with the island-wide ordinance prohibiting smoking and then we will turn out attention to community-based enforcement as well as promoting alternatives to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that are impacting ocean health”.
Earlier this month at the Save The Bay annual meeting our Executive Director was awarded the 2015 Alison J. Walsh Award for outstanding environmental advocacy. Whether you volunteer 1 hour a week, donate 50 dollars a year or work 7 days a week for COA, each of us has an important opportunity to contribute to the mission and bring our community together, make better decisions for our environment, and improve the quality of life for our residents, visitors.