Westerly conservationist named distinguished fellow of URI Coastal Institute

Image courtesy of: URI Communications

Chaplin B. “Chap” Barnes of Westerly has been given the first University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow award, its highest honor, at a reception this evening at the Ocean House in Watch Hill. Chap Barnes is a conservationist and has been instrumental in the protection and stewardship of the Napatree Point Conservation Area. Napatree is one of Rhode Island’s most pristine beach ecosystems; it is a biodiversity hotpot for shorebirds and a destination for tens of URI Responsive Themethousands of visitors all year round. An attorney, Barnes was also a senior advisor for international affairs for the President’s Council on Environmental Quality from 1981-1982.

To understand the ecological complexities of the Napatree ecosystem, Barnes commissioned the Rhode Island Natural History Survey to develop a scientifically accurate baseline inventory of Napatree in 2005, and he engaged the Survey to reassess the Napatree ecosystem in 2010. This scientific “report card” for Napatree became a reality with the completion of the “2013 State of Napatree” report.