Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says Rhode Island needs to invest more in its state parks and beaches.
Raimondo and her husband, Andy Moffit, joined Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit and environmental advocates at Lincoln Woods State Park Monday.
Raimondo's budget proposal seeks to add $1.5 million to DEM's parks division for eight new employees.
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To raise that money, DEM has said it's considering increasing beach parking and campground fees. The amount would be determined through a regulatory process.
Raimondo's office says long-term investments are needed due to budget and staffing cuts at DEM in recent years, combined with increasing visitor use, longer seasons, aging facilities and expanded responsibilities.
DEM is holding public meetings about the parks system. The first is at 4 p.m., Wednesday, at Westerly Town Hall.