From the Chair

Ames B. Colt, Ph.D.

Welcome to our new web site! Please visit this site often for updates on the work and accomplishments of the RI Coordination Team and its subcommittees. We will be adding information resources and portals to the Information Archive and On-Line Resources section of our web site. And don’t hesitate to e-mail me suggestions and material to improve this web site.

My first year as Coordination Team Chair has been an extraordinary learning adventure. I deeply appreciate the support I have received from many able state environmental and economic development officials, non-governmental organizations, and scientists and outreach specialists at the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, and Roger Williams University. The RI Coordination Team indisputably fits the definition of a “lively experiment” in state government in that it seeks to harness the capabilities of our state agencies dedicated to environmental protection and economic development.

Despite the difficulty and complexity of the coastal and watershed challenges we face, there are many reasons to be hopeful about the future well-being of our waters and watersheds, and the economic values they provide us. The public continues to demonstrate a deep interest and commitment to environmental protection. Knowledge-based technologies such as geographic information systems are advancing rapidly, along with a host of green technologies in energy, waste minimization and recycling, and clean-up and restoration. There are numerous dedicated and highly capable professionals in federal, state, and local environmental and natural resource agencies working on the behalf of Rhode Island’s natural and built environments, despite inadequate resources and often poor understanding of the nature of their work and responsibilities. And, perhaps, we are witnessing the emergence from the cauldron of Rhode Island politics a growing determination to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness state and municipal government, which will enable us to govern more strategically. Finally, despite all the threats they face, from climate change to aquatic nuisance species, Rhode Island remains blessed with unique and vital coastal and watershed environments and resources, both natural and built.

All of these factors point to a bright future for Rhode Island—if we are willing to come together now to address the challenges we face strategically and collaboratively, and to develop the capabilities and insights required to protect the future well-being of our state’s extraordinary natural and cultural heritage. The Coordination Team will work to cultivate renewed public support and understanding of 21st century state government and greater civic and community engagement with the environmental, economic, and social issues pertaining to our aquatic environments. Our member agencies are genuinely committed to working strategically as team. Please join us, for the sake of today’s, and tomorrow’s, Rhode Islanders.


Ames B. Colt, Ph.D.

RI Coordination Team Chair