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Office of the Director
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street
Providence, RI 02908
Office Number: 401/222-2771
Dear Fellow Rhode Islander:
It is a privilege to serve the public and Governor Lincoln Chafee as Director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). Rhode Island is a beautiful state, rich in natural resources that support our livelihoods and enrich our lives. The Chafee Administration recognizes that smart, sound economic growth and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand. A healthy environment is central to Rhode Island's prosperity, whether you are talking about farming, fishing, tourism, commerce, or simply being in a place where people want to live.
As Director, I wish to engage further with the public around our shared goal of promoting a healthy environment, with clean air, clean water, open space, and abundant natural resources. Let's get more families outdoors enjoying nature. Let's promote the special qualities that make Rhode Island unique, our beaches, rivers, bays, islands, and forests. Let's ensure that businesses and new developments are served by an agency that provides clear direction and standards and works with and for the people of Rhode Island.
Governor Chafee has asked all of us to work together to "get it right." Fortunately, the DEM is filled with talented and engaged professionals who are working hard for the benefit of Rhode Island.
The team here at DEM will work with Rhode Islanders of all stripes toward the common goal of protecting and sustaining our environment while strengthening our economy. I look forward to addressing the challenges ahead.
Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Janet L. Coit has worked for over 20 years on environmental matters. As Director of DEM since 2011, Janet has focused on efforts to promote local agriculture and seafood, provide opportunities to connect families and tourists to nature, and improve "customer service" and business processes to support environmental and economic interests. She received the 2012 Tourism Special Recognition Award at the Rhode Island Tourism / Hospitality Industry Annual Meeting. She was named "Boater of the Year" by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association in 2013. And, in 2014, she received the prestigious "John H. Chafee Conservation Leadership Award" from the Environment Council of Rhode Island.
Before coming to the Department of Environmental Management, she worked for 10 years at The Nature Conservancy, one of the world's leading environmental nonprofits. Janet served as that organization's Rhode Island state director, where she oversaw some of Rhode Island's largest land conservation projects. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, she was counsel and environmental coordinator in the Providence office of the late Senator John Chafee and, subsequently, then-Senator Lincoln Chafee. She moved to Rhode Island in 1997, making a transition from her position as counsel to the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, where she worked on national environmental policy.
Director Coit has been a champion for the environment throughout her decades of environmental and legal service, including stints at the Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, and working for three U.S. Senators from New England. Clean water, clean air and our natural areas provide for an environment that supports Rhode Island's economic future, and Director Coit is dedicated to preserving the quality of our environment and protecting the natural systems critical to the health, safety and well-being of Rhode Islanders as she leads the Department.
A magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Director Coit holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she was president of the Environmental Law Society and a member of the Environmental Law Journal. She enjoys spending time outdoors, learning about nature and from people, and exploring Rhode Island's waterways, historic sites, and wild places. She is married with two children and lives in the East Bay area.