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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: May 24, 2010
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402

Numerous State and Local Officials Join Wally Brine, Son of the Late Salty Brine, in Ceremonies Marking Completion of the Accessible Beach Facility in Narragansett

PROVIDENCE - Department of Environmental Management Director W. Michael Sullivan, PhD today joined Governor Donald Carcieri, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Jim Langevin, Wally Brine, Jr., state and federal officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new bath house and wind turbine at Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett.

This summer, visitors to Salty Brine State Beach will be greeted by a new, LEED-certified energy efficient public bath house that replaces the beach's 37 year-old former facility. The new 2,478 square foot, two-level accessible bath house provides public bathrooms, showers, outdoor rinsing showers, and a foot-wash. The facility also includes a snack bar with utilities for food concessions, adequate mechanical, storage and janitorial spaces, and a lifeguard station on the upper level.

All of the energy the new bath house uses for needs such as lighting, exhaust and circulation fans, and hot water for showers and flushing toilets is provided on-site by a small, residential-scale wind turbine and solar hot water heaters on the roof of the building. The new beach facility has been designed to maximize energy efficiency with its R30 building shell, energy efficient lighting fixtures, lighting controls, faucets, and low-energy hand dryers. Other measures, such as heating only half of the building for early spring and fall public use and maximizing the use of daylight, will enhance energy efficiency at the facility.

"The new bath house at Salty Brine State Beach is a model of energy efficiency that will use clean, renewable energy sources. It showcases our commitment to the green technologies that we are beginning to use more frequently in our public buildings. As an added bonus, it will save the state money," said Governor Carcieri. "We all should have pride in this exceptionally well-designed building as we prepare to open it to the thousands of Rhode Island residents and tourists who will enjoy visits to Galilee this summer."

DEM Director W. Michael Sullivan, PhD said, "In addition to offering panoramic ocean views from the new observation decks, this modern, handicap-accessible bath house also serves as an educational tool for the public, illustrating DEM's commitment to energy conservation and sustainability. Visitors to the site will have an opportunity to learn and see for themselves how wind power is being put to beneficial use at this new state beach facility."

"People come here to enjoy the beach and the view. Now their experience will be enhanced by a new, green building and modern, family-friendly amenities," said Senator Jack Reed, who helped secure $900,000 in federal funding for the project through his work on the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, which oversees federal spending of National Park Service programs. "I commend DEM for partnering with the federal government to upgrade Salty Brine's facilities, preserve our beaches, and make Rhode Island more energy efficient."

The newly renovated beach has been upgraded to provide universal accessibility throughout the entire site and access to the beach pavilion from both the front entrance and the beach. There is a new accessible bath house deck, shade structure and observation decks on the stone jetty that are connected by an accessible boardwalk along the parking lot edge. The accessible boardwalk connects to an at-grade pedestrian walkway that extends from the sidewalk along Great Island Road through the center of the site to the beach pavilion with conveniently located pedestrian crosswalks.

"Salty Brine was one of our state's most heartwarming figures. It is fitting that the beach named in his memory be rededicated in this same welcoming and friendly spirit," said Congressman Jim Langevin. "This design should serve as a model for other public spaces. Energy efficiencies and accessibility can go hand-in-hand to create a place for family and friends to enjoy for years to come."

National Park Service representative Jan Reitsma said, "The Land and Water Conservation Fund, established to create and maintain a nationwide legacy of high quality recreation areas and facilities, provided $900,000 in funding for this project. It is a pleasure for the National Park Service to support the Salty Brine State Beach improvement project, which will enhance recreational opportunities for current and future generations, with this grant."

"This project continues the long standing relationship between DEM and the Governor's Commission on Disabilities to provide Access for All in the Ocean State," said Bob Cooper, executive secretary of the Governor's Commission on Disabilities.

"Investing in the wind-turbine at Salty Brine State Park benefits both the growth of Rhode Island's green economy and our tourism industry, said Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. "We are thrilled that the Renewable Energy Fund was a piece in a strong collaboration to ensure that this project was completed."

The state acquired the 1.1 acre beach parcel in the mid-1950s. Formerly known as Galilee State Beach, the facility was dedicated in 1990 to Rhode Island's most widely recognized radio personality, Salty Brine. The Galilee pier and surrounding areas have always been heavily utilized by recreational and commercial fishermen and the public as a place to watch the boats, including the Block Island Ferry, come and go throughout the breachway.

"When the State of Rhode Island decided to name a beach after my father he was filled with pride," said Wally Brine, son of the late Salty Brine. "My parents would visit Salty Brine Beach every day regardless of the weather. Even on the coldest days they would sit in their car to watch the fishing boats come and go. You will never know how much this beach meant to my dad, and will remain a constant source of pride to our family forever." Wally Brine is co-host of the Loren & Wally Morning Show on WROR-FM in Boston.

BH & A of Boston designed the facility and oversaw construction. Iron Construction Group, LLC of Providence was the contractor for the project.

Funding for the $1.9 million project includes $900,000 from RI capital funds, $100,000 from the Governor's Commission on Disabilities, and $900,000 from the National Park Service Land and Water Conservation Fund. The RI Economic Development Corporation, through its renewable energy fund, provided a $32,175 grant for funding of the wind turbine.


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