Executive Order 23-09

Waiver of State Beach User Fees and Recreational Saltwater Fishing License Requirement on Governor’s Bay Day

WHEREAS, Rhode Island is committed to promoting and expanding outdoor recreation in the State; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island’s magnificent public beaches are one of our State’s most treasured natural resources enjoyed by residents and visitors alike; and

WHEREAS, our State’s ample saltwater fishing areas provide a great way for families and friends to experience the thrill of recreational fishing; and

WHEREAS, the State wishes to encourage Rhode Islanders to get outdoors, be active, and explore our network of recreational areas; and

WHEREAS, Narragansett Bay is a vital natural resource that supports our water-based economy and its critical business sectors; and

WHEREAS, the State’s waters provide abundant and diverse local seafood, nourishing our families and strengthening our economy; and

WHEREAS, protecting and promoting Narragansett Bay and its surrounding watersheds are a top priority of the State; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island state beaches and parks attract more than 9 million visitors each year and generate an estimated more than $300 million in consumer spending annually, which contributes significantly to the State’s annual $7.9 billion tourism industry; and

WHEREAS, there are around 55,000 licensed saltwater anglers in Rhode Island and recreational saltwater fishing accounts for more than $400 million in economic activity and supports over 4,000 jobs in Rhode Island; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws § 42-17.1-9.1 permits the Director of the Department of Environmental Management to establish appropriate user fees for state beaches; and

WHEREAS, the Director of Environmental Management, consistent with Rhode Island General Laws § 42-17.1-9.1, may, from time to time, waive user fees for all state beaches; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island General Laws § 20-2.2-5 permits the Director of the Department of Environmental Management to establish a free-fishing day where a license is not required for recreational saltwater fishing; and

WHEREAS, the Director of the Department of Environmental Management wishes to waive state beach user fees on Bay Day and designate Bay Day as a free-fishing day for recreational saltwater fishing.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DANIEL J. MCKEE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Rhode Island, do hereby order as follows: 

  1. All Rhode Island state beaches will be open to the public free of user fees on Sunday, July 30, 2023.
  1. Recreational saltwater fishing shall be permitted in the marine waters of Rhode Island without possession of a recreational saltwater fishing license from Friday, July 28, 2023, through Sunday, July 30, 2023.

This Executive Order supersedes Executive Order 23-09 and shall take effect immediately upon the date hereof.

So Ordered:


Daniel J. McKee