Westerly conservationist named distinguished fellow of URI Coastal Institute
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.