The Threat To Providence’s Working Waterfront
Presentation to the Propeller Club
October 15, 2007
Providence’s working waterfront is in jeopardy
City is trying to rezone the working waterfront along Allens Ave from
industrial to mixed use
City planning documents envision idyllic mixed use residential condos,
hotels, parks, and marinas. Existing working waterfront businesses are
not a party of the city’s vision as illustrated in the Providence 2020 plan
artist rendering below:
Protecting Providence’s working waterfront
The Providence Working Waterfront Alliance was formed in September
to highlight the critical role that our working waterfront plays in the city,
state, and region’s economies.
Providence Working Waterfront Alliance members believe that the Port
of Providence is a vital regional economic resource that must be
protected from mixed uses that are incompatible with a working
Providence Working Waterfront Alliance members:
I. Broomfield & Son
J. Broomfield & Son
J. Goodison Company, Inc.
North East Marine Pilots
Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island
Philips Services Corporation
Promet Marine Services
St. Lawrence Cement
Providence’s working waterfront is a key economic resource for Rhode
Island and greater southern New England
Responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in total economic impact
for the region.
Over 2,000 ships per year use the port to offload salt, cement, asphalt,
and petroleum products, and load up with recycled metal for export to
Over 9 million tons of cargo move through the port every year.
One of the top 50 ports in the United States.
Recently completed $65 million 40-foot deep water channel dredging
project specifically undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to
meet growing regional demand for shipping services.
Providence’s working waterfront is responsible for thousands of jobs
Hundreds of direct employment jobs.
Thousands of multiplier jobs (tradesmen, truck drivers, service
One of the few remaining sources of well paid blue-collar jobs in Rhode
Port-sector workers earn, on average, about $50,000.
Providence’s working waterfront is the main source of heating oil for
Rhode Island, Southeast Connecticut, and Central and Southeast
Port fuel terminals supply virtually all of the heating oil for Rhode Island,
Worcester County, Cape Cod and the islands, and eastern Connecticut
households and businesses.
There are more than 450,000 oil heat customers in Rhode Island alone.
Port provides Rhode Island’s only source of residual heavy fuel oil for
hospitals, universities, commercial buildings, state and municipal
buildings, and utilities.
Providence’s working waterfront has a long and proud history that has
shaped the city and the state
Providence harbor has been a center of shipping and commerce for
more than 150 years.
Several working waterfront companies have continually operated here
for more than 100 years.
The character of this neighborhood is a working waterfront:
There are no relocation alternatives for Providence’s deep-water port
Most working waterfront companies must have access to Providence’s
40-foot deep-water port channel to operate.
There is no developable space available at ProvPort or Fields Point to
relocate these companies to.
The state has indicated that it does not want heavy industrial use at
Quonset and there is no deep water channel access.
Relocating these companies and rebuilding the infrastructure they need
to operate will costs tens of millions of dollars and take years to obtain
the necessary state and federal environmental permits.
Many proposed mixed uses for the area are incompatible with a working
Recreational boating from proposed marinas would directly interfere with
heavy ship traffic in the port.
Condo residents and hotel guests likely to complain about loud noises
and industrial activity produced by typical working waterfront operations.
Getting the word out about protecting Providence’s working waterfront
Alliance formed and announced in September
www.providenceworkingwaterfront.org website launched
Prominent media coverage in the Providence Journal, Providence
Business News, NBC 10, and other local media outlets
Alliance member testimony at October 1st public hearing before the City
Working waterfront tour for City Council members
Planned open to the public working waterfront tours/day
Continued outreach to businesses, organizations, and individuals who
support maintaining our working waterfront
What can you do to help?
Join the Alliance!
Supporting member, $200 membership fee
Friend of the Alliance member
Write a letter to the editor in support of Providence’s working waterfront
Testify at future public hearings
Leave your card behind and we’ll add you to our email list
Providence Working Waterfront Alliance
242 Allens Avenue Providence, RI 02905
Phone: (401) 467-3730