WARWICK, RI — Regular visitors to Rocky Point State Park have been remarking on the newly finished Rocky Point fishing pier for a little while, but this morning Mayor Joseph J. Solomon and DEM officials formally opened the spot.
Financed by RI Capital Plan and Green Economy Bond funding, the $1.8 million project provides anglers of all abilities with access to one of the state’s prime fishing areas, according to a statement from the DEM.
The new fishing pier features a 280-foot-long, T-shaped pier with a shade structure, benches, railings, and solar lighting. Railing heights vary to allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy access to Narragansett Bay.
The fishing pier moved forward as a result of a partnership between DEM, the City of Warwick, The Nature Conservancy, and others to create and improve public access sites for fishing and boating. The project provides saltwater fishing access less than 10 miles from Downtown Providence, advancing a key element of this coastal public park. The fishing pier also complements a variety of recreational opportunities at Rocky Point State Park, including walking, bird-watching, rock climbing, a youth fishing camp, DEM’s popular “Come Clam With Me” workshops, and open spaces for picnics as well as family-focused events like Food Truck Nights and Movie Nights run by the City and other gatherings.
“We have, working together, ensured the preservation of Rocky Point for the public so that generations of Rhode Islanders can continue to enjoy it,” Said Solomon during Wednesday’s ribbon cutting at the pier. “This project is just the latest in a series of enhancements that I have championed at our beloved park, and it is one multiple investments I am making in Warwick’s open spaces and recreational opportunities.”
Solomon noted his early support for Warwick’s acquisition of the land at Rocky Point and to to grant permission for the State to purchase the remaining land there, and that he docketed the legislation for the easement needed to build the pier.
“Expanding shoreline and fishing access is core to our mission at DEM and we’re thrilled that the new pier will enable anglers, regardless of their physical abilities, to experience the joy and bounty of fishing on Narragansett Bay,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “I hope that the public will benefit from this recreational investment and asset for decades to come.”
DEM Director Coit noted that DEM works in close partnership with the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) to promote recreational fishing and introduce the sport to young Rhode Islanders through its popular fishing camp at Rocky Point State Park. Fishing is an important part of Rhode Island’s social and cultural fabric and an important driver for the state’s economy. Rhode Island’s marine recreational fishing industry contributes $420 million to the state’s economy and supports over 4,000 jobs.
“This new pier will provide a safe place for recreational anglers to catch fish and hopefully teach fishing to our children and grandchildren,” said Stephen Medeiros, Executive Director of RISAA.
Located along Warwick Neck and overlooking Narragansett Bay, the 124-acre Rocky Point State Park property is one of Rhode Island’s most beloved natural assets and has a 150 year history of being a popular summer attraction for Rhode Islanders and visitors. Over the decades, attractions at Rocky Point have come and gone – nature trails, a ferry pier, the end of a trolley line running from Providence through Buttonwoods and Oakland Beach, an observation tower, hotels, clambakes, restaurants, swimming pool, rides, games, and concerts – but the attraction of publicly accessible land so close to Providence has been a consistent draw since 1850.