Civic engagement is an essential goal of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission as we seek to keep Islanders informed and involved in policy- and decision-making that affects us all. The Smart Island Series of public forums plays a key role in this, quarterly gathering local and regional leaders to take part in panels and discussions on topics relevant to ensuring a smarter, cleaner, and healthier future for Aquidneck Island. Most forums take place at the CCRI Auditorium in Newport, and are always free and open to the public.

Past forums:

The presence of coyotes on Aquidneck Island has been growing since their introduction in the 1990’s. This forum discussed the present population of coyotes how we can work together to ensure a safe, healthy future for us all.

The evening included a presentation from coyote researcher, Numi Mitchell, Ph.D. of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study, about the continued presence of coyotes on Aquidneck Island, followed by a panel discussion on the state and local response with representatives of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Aquidneck Island municipalities, and the agricultural community.

A conversation with Aquidneck Island’s state senators and representatives. We discussed important issues for the island (such as education, housing, and energy infrastructure) and had the opportunity for audience members to ask questions of their elected officials. Sponsored by Bank Newport, Salve Regina University, National Grid, Fuss & O’Neill, Community College of Rhode Island, and Newport Daily News.

As the Island municipalities, their economies, and demographics continue to evolve, addressing challenges and opportunities in housing will determine whether Aquidneck Island remains an economically sustainable community and great place to live. Sponsored by CCRI – Newport, Bank Newport, Discover Newport, Newport County Contractors Association, and AARP. Read Newport Daily News article.  | Click here to download the full digital packet | Click here to download the 2019 Housing Forum Findings

National, regional, and local leaders in water quality discussed the state of Aquidneck Island’s fresh and salt waters, and what we all can do to ensure clean water in the future. View or download the PowerPoint presentation here.

Led by state and local policymakers and energy leaders, the forum explored new ways of financing renewable energy and efficiency improvements, helping individuals, businesses and municipalities on Aquidneck Island create a more sustainable and affordable energy system. Read news coverage here.

  • April 27, 2018: Newport County Legislative Forum

A conversation with Newport County’s state senators and representatives. We discussed the 2017 legislative session, focusing on issues of importance to Aquidneck Island and Newport County.

Future forum topics:

  • Broadband Communications – Aquidneck Island is poorly served for broadband communications. How can we foster competition and improve service for Island homes and businesses?