Press coverage of Hull Cove trail ‘misleading’
The Jamestown Press’ coverage about Hull Cove in last week’s issue is misleading (“Public access to Hull Cove threatened,” Aug. 9). The article infers the owner ignored permitting laws and is contributing to destruction of the property. Not withstanding the arguments of adverse possession of who owns the pathway, Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council does not have any jurisdiction more than 200 feet from the coast. The iron gate pictured in the Aug. 9 Press issue is more than 500 feet from the high water mark, and it appears all of the altered path is outside the 200 feet limitation.
A more important issue is the ecological condition of Hull Cove. The town and its Conservation Commission appear to be indifferent to the damage occurring to this habitat, having contributed more to the destruction, abuse and demise of the ecological health of Hull Cove than any other source by encouraging its public use.
Over the past two decades, we who live along the cove have witnessed the almost complete decimation of shell fish populations, as visitor parking and using the access off Beavertail Road harvest every living crustacean and bivalve including clams, mussels, whelks, snails, periwinkles, green crabs, and even starfish and jellyfish from the rocks and shores of Hull Cove. If not for the migrating fish in its waters, Hull Cove has turned into a dead zone, and it should be closed completely to allow it to replenish itself as is done with fisheries and other endangered estuaries.
The Conservation Commission ignores its own charter by improving “right-of-ways” for more visitor use rather than taking steps to save this fragile environment. It’s time to take a lesson from our National Park Service, which limits the number of visitors to save our nation’s natural treasures.
Clarkes Village Lane