Our Environment

Our Environment

Nearly half of Block Island is protected from development. Open space is one of the most powerful attractions on the island. We have rolling meadows, trails and long stretches of ocean view properties that will be preserved forever. But conserving land is just one part of this complex equation. What we do with that land is equally important. Our fragile island environment continues to be under stress and requires that we as its stewards, remain attentive and vigilant.

With many thanks to The Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and the Block Island Conservancy for their continuing efforts to preserve open space. BIRA continues to support island preservation through these important initiatives.

DEER REDUCTION BIRA provides support for the Block Island Deer Task Force, which helps control the size of the deer herd on Block Island.

BAN ON PLASTICS BIRA provided support and advertisement to generate awareness among summer visitors about the initiative.

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS Land conservation on Block Island is certainly not a new issue, however, the recent debate over the definition of developable landhas raised new concerns over exactly how much of this Island will in fact continue to be preserved for future generations. The Board of Directors of the Block Island Residents Association is in agreement with the Islands conservation organizations, (BIC, BILT, TNC), that land subject to conservation easements should be excluded from the developable land calculation unless the Grantor specifically reserves the development rights and we support their proposed zoning amendment.

SHORELINE ACCESS In December 2015, the Towns Shoreline Access Working Group presented a report to the Town Counsel identifying 6 out of 43 beach access points around the Island that need improvements to ensure safe and easy access to the shoreline.BIRA has initiated The Campaign for Shoreline Access Improvement Fund(SAIF), with a goal of raising $25,000 which will be used in partnership with the Town and other organizations to ensure safe and accessible access to everyone.

MOPED REFORM AND TRAFFIC — BIRA supports initiatives to improve public safety especially the need to improve the safety of the Island’s roads given the volume of cars, bicycles and mopeds during the summer