On May 23, the City Council approved a pilot program to change the harbor mooring fields configuration and approved changes to the Harbor Code to accommodate the proposed pilot program and the long-term plan for all the moorings in the harbor.
Speak Up Newport is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to discuss the mooring plan with guest speaker Bill Kenney, the former Harbor Commission Chair. He will describe the Harbor Commission’s Open Water Initiative and the reasons for the changes to the mooring fields.
The valves, which were built in the 1970s to replace a system from the early 1900s, are necessary to prevent flooding in low-lying areas. They are manually operated, and need to be closed during high tides to prevent seawater from flooding the streets. Once the tide recedes, crews reopen the valves — nearly 90 in total — to allow water to flow from streets to the bay.