Protecting Napatree Point
I write in response to your May 12 article, “Lawsuit could jeopardize public access to Napatree Point in Westerly,” by Carrie Czerwinski.
While the article notes that “the Watch Hill Fire District (WHFD) has provided access to Napatree for decades” and “no one is denying access,” the article’s headline is clearly misleading and not supported by the facts.
The WHFD has protected Napatree Point for over 50 years. The local community spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year maintaining Napatree Point and supporting respectful visitation by everyone. The conservation efforts are curated with the help of the CRMC, RI DEM, URI, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and many others.
Westerly residents and visitors from everywhere have – and will continue to have -- the exact same access rights to Napatree as Watch Hill residents, year-round, free access. In 2022 alone, there were more than 40,000 visits to Napatree Point.
Our lawsuit does not “jeopardize public access.” We are seeking to enforce the Conservation Easement. The town’s actions could jeopardize Napatree’s fragile ecosystem, make pedestrian access less safe, and reduce parking available to the general public.
Joan Beth Brown, Moderator WHFD