October 16, 2002

On Wednesday, October 16, 2002, the NAVSTA Newport Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) gathered at the Officers' Club for its monthly meeting. The meeting began at 7:12 p.m. and ended at 8:43 p.m.

In attendance were John Vitkevich, Dr. Kathy Abbass, Edward Moitoza, Susan Hester, Howard Porter, Emmet Turley, Dr. David Brown, Thurston Gray, Claudette Weissinger, Thomas McGrath, Thomas Reardon, William Fowler, CDR. Dean Will (NAVSTA) David D. Dorocz (NAVSTA), Melissa Griffin (NAVSTA), Kathy Marley (NAVSTA), Theresa Ryan (NAVSTA), Greg Kohlweiss (NAVSTA), James Shafer (EFANE), and Paul Kulpa (RIDEM)

Not in attendance were Mary Blake, Manual Marques, Barbara Barrow, Byron Hall and Dick Coogan.

John Vitkevich opened the meeting and welcomed the group.


John Vitkevich requested a change to the September minutes. The change is located on page 6 in the Old Business paragraph, first sentence. Please change, "for the concept of building an amphitheater at Tank Farm 2." To: " for his concept of building an amphitheater at Tank Farm 2."

The minutes were then approved with the change.


Jim Shafer gave the activity update. Mr. Schafer's slides are included as enclosure (1). The Final Feasibility Study has been submitted for the Old Fire Fighting Training Area (OFFTA). The EPA, Navy, and State are currently in disagreement for the offshore remedy at the site. Jim Shafer announced that there is a meeting scheduled with the remedial project managers to further discuss the site on November 21, 2002.

Dr. David Brown expressed concern regarding the parking lot adjacent to the OFFTA. Jim Schafer clarified by stating that the parking lot would not affect remediation plans for the site. Any impact the parking lot would have on the soil will be addressed during the onshore excavation work.

Mr. Emmet Turley asked how many acres the parking lot adjacent to the site consists of. Commander D. Will explained to the RAB that the Surface Warfare Officer School students have approximately 100 vehicle spaces for the students to park their cars. John Vitkevich stated that this would mean the parking lot area is equivalent to approximately one acre of land.

Emmett Turley questioned whether this site would be open to the public and Mr. Schafer responded that the site would be used solely for SWOS student parking. David Dorocz added that access to Katy Field is still restricted.

Jim Shafer provided information on the recent meeting with EPA, Navy, and State representatives. The meeting was held to discuss the remediation strategy of the Tank Farm study. There was no actual decision confirmed by the closing of the meeting. Jim Shafer further stated that it is necessary for the EPA to agree with any decisions being made for the site. David Dorocz stated that the state provided their comments in a letter just received and added that a copy of the letter will be distributed at the next RAB meeting.

In closing Jim Shafer stated that the budget presentation would be postponed until the next RAB meeting.


Public Information Committee Dr. David Brown

David Brown asked about the update of the RAB Website. Melissa Griffin stated that a redesigned IR and RAB website is to be uploaded within the next few days and the minutes will be added shortly.

David Brown encouraged RAB members to visit their local libraries, specifically Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth, noting that the Navy has done a very good job providing copies of all the IR documents and correspondence to the reference section of each library. Dr. Brown welcomes comments from the members regarding the library displays and would like this input before the next meeting.

David Brown inquired as to the most expedient method for the committee members to provide their comments on the OFFTA Proposed Plan. David Dorocz suggested that RAB members either provide comments as part of the RAB forum or use the formal process of providing their comments by attending an upcoming Open House meeting. Melissa Griffin added that the proposed plans are available to the public at local libraries as well as at NAVSTA.

Membership Committee Mr. Thurston Gray

Mr. William Fowler of Newport and Mr. Thomas Reardon, both of Newport, were welcomed and introduced to the RAB as new prospective community members.

The Naval Station Newport Executive Officer, Commander Dean Will was formally introduced and welcomed by the group. The Commander serves as Executive Officer to the Captain of Naval Station Newport and is a Naval Surface Warfare Officer.

Mr. Gray announced there is currently a count of 20 RAB members, with the addition of William T. Fowler and Thomas Reardon.

It is hoped that more new members of the community officially join the RAB by filling out the application for membership.

The RAB then discussed the methods of advertising for additional membership. David Dorocz provided copies of past advertisements utilized to recruit new members for the RAB to review. John Vitkevich commented that it is nice to recruit different areas of expertise for the community meetings.

Project Committee Mr. Emmet Turley

Mr. Turley expressed to the RAB the importance of future planning with respect to the fish and wildlife of the local Rhode Island waters and properties. While discussing the funding of Navy remediation projects, he asked that the RAB stay focused and consider his informational input regarding dredging projects, provided as part of the September 2002 minutes.

Planning Committee Mr. Edward Moitoza

Edward Moitoza discussed SAIC, NASA and Narragansett Bay current events. More information is provided as Enclosure (2).

Education Committee Dr. Kathy Abbass

Dr. Kathy Abbass expressed her appreciation for the schematic provided by the Navy to the RAB, titled 'Naval Station Newport Study Area and Locus Plan' ( Enclosure (3)). Kathy further commented that the enclosure could be used as a visual and educational aid as the graphic illustration shows the progress of the sites.

Dr. Abbass showed the RAB the new International Handbook of Underwater Archeology, and stated that Chapter (7) discusses the Rhode Island Marine Archeological Program (RIMAP).

Thurston Gray received a round of applause due to his accomplishments in his eelgrass transplant efforts. Mr. Gray was mentioned in a detailed article ( Enclosure (4)). As explained in the enclosure, a high-speed drill was used in preparing ties to wrap eelgrass to the framing.

David Dorocz provided a copy of the current security zone map, as previously requested by Dr. Abbass for her work with RIMAP. Mr. Dorocz requested that the Navy be provided with a graphic map showing the exact locations where the RIMAP is performing their archeological work in order to better assist with protecting the areas.


David Dorocz responded to a prior request for information regarding a communications cable being installed offshore of Coddington Cove and Gould Island. The Naval Underwater Warfare Center will be installing a fiber optic cable that will run along the Stillwater Basin breakwater, north (to avoid deep area of Bay), and west to Gould Island. The cable will be jetted into the ground (ca. 6 12"). The timeframe for installation is 6 12 months.


The next meeting of the Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) will be on November 20, 2002, at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

(1) Presentation on Activity Update J. Shafer (1473 KB)
(2) NASA Information Bulletin Ed Moitoza (100 KB)
(3) Naval Station Newport Study Area and Locus Plan (129 KB)
(4) News Paper Article of Eelgrass Transplant Success (680 KB)