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Home > DEM Sets Five Priorities for Performance Improvement

DEM Sets Five Priorities for Performance Improvement

In an effort to align DEM priorities with those of Governor Chafee and to make headway on several strategic goals, Director Janet Coit has asked her leadership team and staff to flesh out ideas and identify action steps in five strategic areas. This will create a blueprint for policy development and budget allocation as well as enable measurement of progress and return on the taxpayer dollars allocated to DEM.

DEM's five strategic areas include:

Strengthening Partnerships
This goal is to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new or expanded partnerships to help the Department accomplish its priority goals. The secondary objective through partnerships is to build public support for shared environmental goals. Both of these objectives are not necessarily mutually exclusive. DEM's partners fall into five basic categories: federal agencies, state agencies, municipalities, nonprofit organizations and environmental constituent groups.

Improve Customer Service
The goal is to improve customer service provided to the professional clients such as environmental consultants, attorneys and engineers who transact with DEM's regulatory bureau. This will entail improvement of programs where necessary to encourage quality proposals, timely and predictable reviews, effective decisions, and consistent follow up on those decisions to ensure proper implementation.

Support Development of a Green Economy
The goal of this effort will entail the support of renewable energy projects that are environmentally appropriate that help to reduce the carbon footprint of the state. Increasing the use of renewable energy projects will also support economic growth in this sector. In addition, support of Rhode Island markets for state produced agricultural and aquatic products will increase the ability to support our farming and fishing economies, and may produce carbon benefits by reducing fuel usage in the transportation sector to bring food to Rhode Island.

Kids & Families
A national No Child Left Inside initiative is underway in many states to raise awareness about the importance of reconnecting kids with the outdoors. In 2008 the Department of Environmental Management launched the Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit, which aims to reconnect families with the outdoors, encourage more physical activity, build the next generation of environmental stewards, showcase state parks and forests, and increase the understanding of the connection between the outdoor environment and health and wellness. By targeting children and families, the Department wants to build off the success of the Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit to develop additional programs that will improve the health of Rhode Islanders, and especially our children, by connecting them with nature.

Increasing Public Engagement
This effort will develop new and more opportunities for public input and involvement in DEM programs, including directed efforts toward low income/minority communities in our urban centers. It will focus especially on enhanced communications through use of social networking tools and communications outreach to urban populations.

The Department is interested in soliciting ideas and feedback from Rhode Islanders on these priorities and goals. Please email your comments to Rayna Maguire at to share your thoughts on these five priorities for performance improvement.

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