Last week the City of Warwick was bathed in the sunlight of a gorgeous summer day and the spotlight of positive press attention when the new Rocky Point Pier finally opened to the public after years of conceptualizing and delayed construction. Not even a
Last week the City of Warwick was bathed in the sunlight of a gorgeous summer day and the spotlight of positive press attention when the new Rocky Point Pier finally opened to the public after years of conceptualizing and delayed construction.
Not even a global pandemic could dampen the spirits of those in attendance and those who walked the new pier. Here in Warwick was a renewed monument to a storied tradition at Rocky Point – which many years ago served as one of the premiere destinations in the state between its amusement park, wooden pier and Olympic-sized swimming pool.
For years after the park closed for good over 25 years ago, the future of the park looked as uncertain and bleak as the last ghostly remaining pilings of the old wooden pier that jutted from the water’s surface of rocky shoreline. Thankfully, fate and the concerted actions of community advocates intervened and the land was secured as one of the most beautiful open space state parks in the Northeast.
In recent years, the Rocky Point Arch has been restored from a rusted shell of itself, informative plaques outlining the park’s storied history have been erected and now – in the most stunning reincarnation yet – a beautiful new pier has emerged from the site of the old one. Truly, for Warwick residents and citizens of Rhode Island as a whole, this is something to behold and truly be proud of – especially in the midst of such dire and defeating times.
This is why we feel the need to emphasize an emerging problem that – although it may be a small issue right now – could possibly become an issue that puts a damper the feel-good nature of this brand new public space, that is unless we come together to figure out how to implement a common-sense solution quickly.
It seems apparent that although the worthy prospects of making the pier a destination for saltwater fishing enthusiasts was of utmost importance to those designing this project, they did not perhaps think through the inevitable process of what happens when multiple people angling for large fish emerge successful.
We’ve received correspondence from those who have complained that the pier has already been made messy from fisherman using public benches to cut bait, and have even left their unintended catches hanging from the side of the railings to rot in the hot sun. Obviously, this type of behavior cannot be fully planned for, as we like to expect that people will exercise a certain amount of respect for their fellow members of the public who will want to utilize the space.
But as we’ve seen with certain businesses trying to enforce mask-wearing policies (even here in Rhode Island, where an overwhelming majority of people do follow public health guidance), considering the wellbeing of others is not a strength of everybody in our society.
Perhaps there is an easy solution – erecting signage asking people to please clean up after themselves seems to be a good start. But we may also have to think about enacting and enforcing policies that we observe in other public parks and places regarding keeping the space clean. Those with ideas on how to keep the pier clean and accessible for everyone should please feel encouraged to share them with us in letters to the editor.
After all, this new pier is not only for the enjoyment of fishermen – it’s for everyone who has a love of Rocky Point and the ocean.