Letter: Sea rise threatens Robin Rug

Posted 1/20/22

To the editor:The State of Rhode Island has been encouraging the shore towns to get serious in planning for sea level rise, especially in the East Bay, and the proposed development of Robin Rug runs …

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Letter: Sea rise threatens Robin Rug

Posted

To the editor:

The State of Rhode Island has been encouraging the shore towns to get serious in planning for sea level rise, especially in the East Bay, and the proposed development of Robin Rug runs counter this this.

The planning calls for pulling back from shorelines and halting new shore development in preparing for what is ahead. The rise already laps over the bike path at times, as well as leading to flooding on Hope Street at Silver Creek. Bristol’s waterfront is vulnerable at present in storms and this danger will grow. URI has mapped out the danger of this submergence and Robin Rug lies in the middle of the zone of increased water damage. Making it the most significant flood-prone building at present without any change in sea level. The future is increasingly bleak with the Coastal Resources Management Council estimating a 10-foot rise over the next 78 years.

The sea level is one of the many serious problems facing the development. At present, without any change, a significant storm could shut down the building, resulting in the need for emergency housing of the 300 or so proposed tenants. The danger will grow with the future rise, which would inundate the first level of the project to eliminate parking and threaten a major sewage backup. The tenants’ and commercial vehicles would then be contending for parking spaces with the additional vehicles resulting from the expanded boat docks, Prudence Island Ferry and restaurants; creating a horrendous problem.

The amount of rise may be debated but Barrington is taking it seriously and planning to spend to protect Route 114 from flooding. Bristol has held workshops on the matter, although no proposed steps have been announced, as if the sea may rise in Barrington but not in Bristol. The Town dropped the ball by allowing an inadequate, flood-prone bridge to be built at Silver Creek. It will not alleviate the problem, as tried at that bridge, to post over each entrance to Robin Rug: “Danger entering a flood zone”.

We must prepare for the future. Start by tearing down Robin Rug.

Patrick Barosh
PhD, Geologist
103 Aaron Avenue
Bristol

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