PROVIDENCE, RI- Governor Gina M. Raimondo today signed an Executive Order announcing that the 31st Governor's Bay Day celebration will take place on Sunday, July 28, 2019.
The day includes family-friendly activities and free parking at all Rhode Island state beaches, as well as fishing in Rhode Island saltwaters without a saltwater fishing license. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) also will waive the roundtrip fare on all service to South County beaches on Route 66 (URI/Galilee). Service to the beach will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Celebrating Governor's Bay Day is one of my favorite traditions and a chance for Rhode Islanders to enjoy our beautiful beaches and parks," said Governor Gina Raimondo. "We are so fortunate to live near some of the country's most spectacular beaches and in a state where some of the best fishing and boating are right in our backyard. I invite Rhode Islanders to enjoy the Ocean State with family and friends on July 28th."
"We're excited to welcome Rhode Islanders and tourists to visit our world-class state beaches and parks on Governor's Bay Day," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Narragansett Bay is the heart of Rhode Island and a vital resource that provides countless outdoor recreation opportunities and supports the livelihood of thousands. Rhode Islanders have stepped up and supported strong laws to protect our waters, and I'm proud of the progress we've made in cleaning up the Bay. We hope everyone takes some time out on Governor's Bay Day to enjoy our beautiful Bay and coastal waters!"
The free activities will be offered at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, including a sand sculpture contest, arts and crafts, Skin Check 10 free skin cancer screenings, and environmental education. Activities will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Governor and her family will join the festivities from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Parking will be free at all state beaches, which are: -Charlestown Breachway, Charlestown, RI -East Beach, Charlestown, RI -East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingstown, RI -Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly, RI -Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, Narragansett, RI -Salty Brine State Beach, Narragansett, RI -Scarborough State Beaches (North and South), Narragansett, RI
Governor's Bay Day encourages families to enjoy Rhode Island's outdoor public spaces and engage in an active lifestyle while also highlighting the economic value of our natural resources. Rhode Island's natural and public assets – including eight saltwater beaches, 8,200 acres of parkland, 1,000 campsites, 400 miles of hiking and biking trails, 200 fishing spots, and 25 parks and nature preserves – are magnets, attracting more than 9 million Rhode Islanders and tourists a year. They're also an engine that adds an estimated $315 million to the economy, generating nearly $40 million in state and local taxes and supporting nearly 4,000 jobs a year.
Saltwater fishing also is an important driver for the state's economy. Rhode Island's marine recreational fishing industry contributes $420 million to the State's economy and supports over 4,000 jobs. Although the free fishing day provides an opportunity for everyone to fish without a license, it also serves as a reminder that saltwater licenses are required on every day except on Bay Day, and that the license program provides vital support for Rhode Island's recreational fishing interests. The Governor's team will share information on this event using the hashtag #GovBayDay on social media.