Press Release

DEM IS TAKING THE RHODE ISLAND WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN INTO COMMUNITIES VIA A SERIES OF PUBLIC MEETINGS

Four Public Meetings to be held in December in South Kingstown, Greenville and Bristol

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a series of public meetings throughout the state next month to discuss the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) and how it relates to conservation in Rhode Island and solicit public input on the document before it is finalized. The WAP guides wildlife conservation across the state by identifying priority actions for agencies, conservation groups, towns and citizens alike to all do their part to help wildlife. Conserving wildlife and natural places helps protect clean air and water and enhances our own quality of life. It also ensures that our children and future generations will be able to enjoy these special animals and places in a healthy environment. DEM and its partners will hold four meetings to update the public on the status of the 2015 WAP revision and related tools to assist communities with wildlife conservation. These meetings will also serve as listening sessions on the WAP and the suite of outreach tools DEM is developing related to the WAP. Attendees will have an opportunity to identify information gaps or additional needs that DEM and its partners can address to assist local communities with conservation priorities. The RI WAP community liaison will be on hand to discuss her work and gather feedback from local conservation groups and interested citizens. This feedback will inform her work going forward to help communities protect wildlife.Public meetings will be held on December 8, 9 and 11 at the following locations and times. Light refreshments will be served prior to each session. Please RSVP here to attend (or copy and paste https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CDJNDFC into your browser) so DEM can get an accurate count for refreshments. Please RSVP by 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 3.

December 8 at the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn, 17 Matunuck Beach Road.
Light refreshments will be provided from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The meeting will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

December 9 at Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge, 12 Sanderson Road, Greenville.
▪ Morning session: Light refreshments will be provided from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The meeting will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
▪ Evening session: Light refreshments will be provided from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The meeting will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

December 11 at the Bristol Parks and Recreation Community Center at Colt State Park, 101 Asylum Road.
Light refreshments will be provided from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The meeting will run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Amanda Freitas, the RI WAP community liaison was appointed to promote participation by municipalities and others interested in the development and implementation of the 2015 WAP. This position is being funded by the RI Natural History Survey (RINHS). Freitas is located at DEM headquarters in Providence and may be reached at 222-2776 ext. 2017 or via email at Amanda.freitas@dem.ri.gov.

The WAP revision effort, community liaison position and WAP companion guide reflect the strong partnership and deep commitment of DEM, the Rhode Island Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the University of Rhode Island, and the RINHS to leverage financial resources to provide technical assistance and staff expertise to the project.

The draft 2015 Rhode Island Wildlife Action Plan and Action Guide for Conserving Rhode Island Fish and Wildlife will be available in their entirety on the DEM website in December. Five chapters of the draft 2015 Rhode Island Wildlife Action Plan and draft Species of Greatest Conservation Need Fact Sheets are already available on DEM’s website at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatres/fishwild/swap15.htm. DEM welcomes public comments on the document; they may be sent to riwildlifeactionplan@yahoo.com

DEM is committed to preserving the quality of Rhode Island’s environment, maintaining the health and safety of its residents, and protecting the natural systems upon which it depends. DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s mission is to ensure that the freshwater, marine and wildlife resources of the State of Rhode Island will be conserved and managed for equitable and sustainable use.