RAB MEETING MINUTES

NAVAL STATION NEWPORT
RESTORATION ADVISORY BOARD MEETING
APRIL 16, 2003

MINUTES


On Wednesday, April 16, 2003, the NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers' Club for their monthly meeting. The meeting began at 7:00 p.m. and ended at 8:30 p.m.

In attendance were John Vitkevich, Kathy Abbass,
Thomas McGrath, David Brown, Susan Hester, Emmet Turley, James Myers, Thurston Gray, Thomas Reardon, Howard Porter, David Dorocz (NAVSTA), Lieutenant Kevin Garrity (NAVSTA), Cornelia Mueller (NAVSTA), Kathy Marley (NAVSTA), Gregg Kolhweiss (NAVSTA), Paul Kulpa (RIDEM), and Kymberlee Keckler (USEPA).

Mr. John Vitkevich opened the meeting and welcomed the group. He announced that Mr. Edward Moitoza would be relocating to the State of Florida and has recently resigned as a member of the RAB.


MEETING MINUTES

There were no changes to the minutes of the March 2003 meeting. Mr. Vitkevich asked for a motion to accept the minutes, which was seconded and then carried.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Presentation by the Education Committee - Kathy Abbass

Dr. Kathy Abbass presented a draft introductory training manual for review and comment by the RAB community members. The training manual is compiled of previously published materials. Enclosure (1) is the table of contents presented during the discussion.

Dr. Abbass explained that the manual provides maps and computer graphics and is color-coded to help the reader view the various Navy sites with the corresponding information. Dr. Abbass further told the RAB that the manual is a good introduction for new members so they may learn more about the IR Program and also serves as a reference guide for continuing members.

Kymberlee Kecker suggested the training manual include an introduction to Environmental Law to provide the reader with a better explanation of CERCLA and the public comment process.

Mr. John Vitkevich stated that the manual is a good source of information that could be brought out to the local communities to encourage more community involvement.

Dr. Brown asked that copies of the training manual be included as part of the administrative record at the local public libraries. He further suggested the training manual be posted as a link to www.nsnpt.navy.mil/Environmental/rab_home.htm, the Navy RAB website address.

Public Information Committee - David Brown

Dr. David Brown announced there will be a tree planting ceremony on April 25, 2003, by the City of Newport Tree Commission and the Rhode Island Tree Council. Dr. Brown distributed a handout that provided more detailed information on the event. The tree planting will be performed in conjunction with Arbor Day and the ceremony is dedicated to the victims of September 11th.

Project Committee - Emmet Turley

Mr. Emmet Turley presented information on the Providence River Dredging Project.

Enclosure (2) is the Project Committee Report and an article on the dredging of the Providence River channel, written by Senator Jack Reed. The article was previously published on May 8, 2000, in the Newport Daily News.

Enclosure (3) is an article recently published on April 12, 2003 in the Providence Journal. The article describes the extensive study and research performed to the local waters of the Narragansett Bay by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Planning Committee - Thomas McGrath

Mr. Thomas McGrath reviewed the Planning Committee schedule for upcoming RAB meetings. The suggested schedule was presented to the RAB during the January 2003 meeting.

Membership Committee - Thurston Gray

Mr. Thurston Gray stated there are presently 19 community members. There were 10 community members present at the meeting with three active members excused.

Mr. Gray announced that the RAB Mission Statement is presently being revised to include the suggested updates presented during the March 2003 RAB meeting.

Mr. John Vitkevich stated that the RAB is envisioned to include a total of 20 community members. He further stated that the current RAB membership is being evaluated to distinguish active from inactive members.

Mr. Thurston Gray announced that there will be a harvest of eelgrass at Kings Beach on Thursday, May 29, 2003, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Kings Beach is located near Brenton State Park on Ocean Drive in Newport.

Mr. Thomas McGrath asked if eelgrass will also be planted at the Kings Beach location. Mr. Gray explained that there will only be a harvest of eelgrass from Kings Beach to be transplanted to other locations.

Mr. Gray also announced that the first eelgrass planting will take place on May 31, 2003, at Fogland Cove. A Save the Bay boat will depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Tiverton public boat landing and lunch will be provided.


NEW BUSINESS

Dr. David Brown asked that the RAB be given an updated overview presentation by RIDEM in the near future. A presentation by RIDEM is tentatively scheduled for September 2003.

Mr. David Dorocz announced that a second open house on the Navy's proposal to construct a golf course will be held in May. The purpose of the open house is to present the results of the Environmental Assessment that was performed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The second open house will take place on Thursday, May 8, 2003, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the J. H. Gaudet Middle School, in Middletown, RI.


NEXT MEETING

The next scheduled meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) will be a site tour, on May 21, 2003, at 6:00 p.m. RAB members should assemble at the main entrance of the Officers' Club to participate in the tour.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Enclosures:

(1) Education Manual 2003 Table of Contents (19 KB)
(2) April 16, 2003 Project Committee Report and article by Senator Jack Reed (199 KB)
(3) Narragansett Bay Research Study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (187 KB)