NARRAGANSETT – In an effort to allow members of Rhode Island’s fishing community to share their basic views on a number of marine issues, a roundtable discussion was held at the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Institute on the Bay Campus Monday, February 7.
This meeting marked the first time newly appointed acting director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), Janet Coit, was able to speak with local fisherman, and others involved in local fisheries, about their concerns and beliefs regarding marine fisheries management.
Governor Lincoln Chafee appointed Coit, who served as the Rhode Island State Chapter director of the Nature Conservancy for the last 10 years, to her new position. She will have her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, February 9 and thus will officially be the Director of DEM.
Coit joked in her welcome address at the start of the meeting that she received many e-mails upon her appointment that read “my condolences” due to the amount of headaches her new job could potentially cause. However, she laughed it off and appeared to be more than up to the task.
“I am so thrilled that Governor Chafee offered me this position,” she said before opening up the floor for discussion.
While the meeting was intended to give all members of the community a chance to voice their perspectives, Coit admitted that they would only be able to touch the surface of most topics, and that there would be smaller, more focused discussions to dissect individual issues in the near future. She was surprised that there were more people at the meeting than available seats.
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