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Rhode Island

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Access Site Improvements

Multiple storms battered the Rhode Island shoreline this past winter highlighting the need for resilient coastal areas more than ever before. To address this issue, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Coastal Resiliency Program has provided funds to RIDEM for resilient designs for two popular state recreational fishing areas: Quonochontaug Breachway Fishing Area in Charlestown and Gull Cove Fishing Area in Portsmouth.

Resiliency Designs for Two Popular Fishing Access Areas

“Resilience” in a broad sense is defined as the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from experiencing difficulty or trauma. The resilient designs are planned to increase the longevity of the two fishing areas by implementing solutions that address the effects of sea level rise and catastrophic storm events. The focus of the designs will be nature-based solutions that protect, conserve, and restore ecosystems in a way that addresses environmental challenges, while also benefiting wildlife and the people that use them. Resilient recreational areas will bounce back from abrupt environmental changes and will provide anglers with coastal access opportunities for years to come.

The Stephen J. Medeiros Fishing Area at Black Point

On a Spring day in May of 1989, a multi-year court battle to ensure public access to Black Point was won. This effort included users of the site who delivered their own video-taped accounts of historic access to the rocky Narragansett shoreline at this location.

After the win, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management purchased the property and added it to land previously purchased by the state in 1974 that includes Scarborough Beach.

On December 2, 2023, members of Stephen Medeiros’s family, friends, loyal Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) members, and members of the fishing community gathered in Narragansett for a dedication ceremony. An outspoken advocate for recreational fishing in the Ocean State, Steve was an original founder of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association. Through RISAA, his leadership brought our recreational fishing community together as an influential voice. With his unprecedented dedication to the sport, he represented the interests of recreational anglers in all aspects of education, access, preservation, and regulation.

Steve’s approach was always the same: straightforward, well informed, kind, and respectful, which made him effective, widely admired, and profoundly influential. One of his deepest passions was protecting and increasing public access to the shore. It is an appropriate, if understated tribute, that this site is now and forever more known as the “Stephen J. Medeiros Fishing Area at Black Point”.

Previous failed attempts to control shoreline erosion at the Quonochontaug Breachway. New nature-based resilient designs are planned to more effectively address the effects of sea level rise and provide continued access to anglers.

Steve Medeiros, founder of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, poses with a big white-chin tautog. Steve was a dedicated advocate for the recreational fishing community in Rhode Island.