PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today signed an Executive Order announcing that the 32nd Governor's Bay Day celebration will take place on Sunday, July 25, 2021.
The day includes family-friendly activities and free parking at all Rhode Island state beaches. New this year, the public is invited to fish in Rhode Island saltwaters without a saltwater fishing license from Friday, July 23 through Sunday, July 25. 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.
"There's nothing like summer in Rhode Island and I think we're all ready to enjoy our beautiful waters, sandy beaches, and abundant fisheries," said Governor Dan McKee. "This Bay Day, I invite Rhode Islanders to head to the beach, drop a fishing line in Narragansett Bay, and experience all of the natural resources the Ocean State has to offer."
"Ensuring the public can enjoy beaches, parks, and access to saltwater fishing is a public trust that the Department of Environmental Management works to fulfill every day by providing countless families with opportunities to enjoy being outside," said DEM Acting Director Terry Gray. "Bay Day is the perfect day to celebrate being a Rhode Islander."
The free activities will be offered at Roger W. Wheeler State Beach including a saltwater fly-tying station, arts and crafts, and environmental education. Activities will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Parking will be free at all state beaches, which are:
- Charlestown Breachway, Charlestown - East Beach, Charlestown - East Matunuck State Beach, South Kingstown - Misquamicut State Beach, Westerly - Roger W. Wheeler State Beach, Narragansett - Salty Brine State Beach, Narragansett - Scarborough State Beaches (North and South), Narragansett
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 economy and supports over 4,000 jobs. Although the free fishing days provide an opportunity for everyone to fish without a license, they also serve 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 cost of a yearly RI license is $7 for Rhode Island residents, and $10 for non-residents.
The Governor's team will share information on this event using the hashtag #GovBayDay on social media.