Daniel Guy via Flickr Creative Commons

Newport beaches and parks, and the historic Cliff Walk may soon become smoke-free. The Newport City Council has given a preliminary green light to a smoking ban.

Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano said the city council will likely give the smoking ban a final approval next month. She said most of the council members support the move, while a few others would like a compromise, such as designated smoking areas.

Napolitano said the benefit of a smoking ban on public beaches and in parks is two-fold.


Beaches have opened and warm weather is upon us, which can mean only one thing for the Ocean State, tourist season has begun. State officials are expecting increases in revenue compared to last year. Summer arrived later than usual last year, and Rhode Island saw just an average tourist season.  But this year thermometers have already been pushing 80 degrees. 

Director of tourism for Commerce RI, Mark Brodeur said early beach openings, and events like the Volvo Ocean sailing race in Newport are giving the season a strong start.

Bertha Bringing Big Swells, Strong Rip Currents

Aug 6, 2014

Tropical Storm Bertha continues to move up the Atlantic. 

The closest the storm will come to Rhode Island is about 300 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.  The storm has been steadily decaying in power, and not expected to dump too much rain on the state.  (Though thunderstorms have been predicted for this week.  The National Weather Service has issued an advisory.)

National Weather Service spokesperson Bill Simpson says it’s still expected to have an impact on Rhode Island waves.

Rhode Island is receiving more federal funding to continue cleanup efforts started after Superstorm Sandy. The money will also be used to prepare the state for future storms and the effects climate change.

Cliff Walk Repairs On Hold As Bid Is Examined

Sep 24, 2013

Repairs to the Cliff Walk in Newport destroyed by Superstorm Sandy are on hold as the Department of Transportation is examining an unusually low bid that has been submitted.

The bid for repairs came at 3 million dollars; about 2 million less than most of the others.

The low amount raised eyebrows, said city official Robert Power, who was worried about the quality of the work.

Residents and businesses in the North Kingstown area are invited to a free public meeting regarding the impacts of climate change, rising tides, and flooding in the coastal communities of Rhode Island.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report about Rhode Island’s beaches finds steady improvements in the water quality since 2008. Health officials closed beaches for fewer days last year than it did in 2011, and more improvements are in the works.