This screenshot shows the amendment to Rhode Island’s geographic location description (GLD), along with other GLDs.

The recent amendment to the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program’s geographic location description (GLD) can now be viewed in the Northeast Ocean Data Portal Data Explorer tool.

A GLD is an area that lies beyond a state’s coastal zone—which extends three miles offshore—but where an activity would have reasonably foreseeable effects on that state’s coastal uses or resources. GLDs are one way that the Coastal Zone Management Act gives states a strong voice in federal agency decision-making. Once a state establishes a GLD and identifies specific activities in that area that could affect state coastal uses or resources, the state may review federal agency activities, federal licenses, federal permits, and federal financial assistance activities within the GLD for consistency with the policies in their state coastal management program.

The Rhode Island GLD was expanded in December 2018 to include areas to the southeast of the original GLD that was established as part of the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP). As a result, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council is authorized to review federal licenses or permits issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for offshore wind facilities and associated underwater cables for consistency with Ocean SAMP policies.

The Rhode Island Amended GLD Area map layer should be viewed together with the Federal Consistency Geographic Location Descriptions layer to display the full Rhode Island GLD along with GLDs for all other states that have defined them.