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About The Rivers Council

Small Hunt Dam

The RI Rivers Council was created by statute (RIGL 46-28) to coordinate, oversee, and review efforts to improve and preserve the quality of the state's rivers and other water bodies and to develop plans to increase river use. The General Assembly created the Council because "state jurisdiction over rivers, environmentally, culturally and economically, is scattered among state agencies and in some instances, state policies and plans [concerning rivers] are conflicting." The Council is charged with coordinating state policies to protect rivers and watersheds and strengthening local watershed councils as partners in river and watershed protection. The Rivers Council is an associated function of the Rhode Island Water Resources Board.

The primary duties of the Council are:

Rhode Island Rivers Council Membership:

Public Members
Veronica Berounsky
Governor (co)
Robert Billington Governor (cc)
Rachel Calabro Governor (po)
Vacant Governor (gn)
Walter Galloway Governor (es)
Alicia Eichinger
Vice Chair
Governor (co)
Charles Horbert Governor (es)
Vacant Governor (gn)
Elise Torello Governor (co)

Institutional Members

Paul Gonsalves
for Michael DiBiase
Department of Administration
Ernie Panciera
for Janet Coit
Department of Environmental Management
Jeff Willis
for Grover Fugate
Coastal Resources Management Council
Mike Walker
for Darin Early
Economic Development Corporation
Eugenia Marks
for Kathleen Crawley
Water Resources Board
Peder Schaefer
for Mayor Donald Grebien
League of Cities and Towns

RIGL46-28-5 provides for a council consisting of fifteen members, eleven of whom are voting members. Nine voting public members are to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. Three appointees are to have conservation organization experience (co); two appointees are to have environmental law, science or planning experience (es); one appointee is to have communication, public outreach or education experience (po); one appointee is to be a member of a chamber of commerce within the state (cc); and two general members (gn). The six institutional members are the director of the department of administration; the director of the department of environmental management; the general manager of the water resources board; the executive director of the coastal resources management council; the executive director of the economic development corporation; and the president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns; or their designees. The director of the department of administration and the director of the department of environmental management are voting members. The other four institutional members are nonvoting. Six voting members are required for a quorum.

The documents below further describe the organization and operating procedures of the Rhode Island Rivers Council.