A Renewable Energy Zone, approximately 2 km wide (landward from state water boundary), extending from a location east to southwest of Block Island has been selected as the most suitable area for offshore renewable energy development in the Ocean SAMP area.Global warming is perhaps the most critical issue of the 21st century. It is already accelerating sea level rise, leading to beach erosion, property losses, and increasing Rhode Island's vulnerability to hurricanes and floods. Climate change may adversely affect food supply, public health, and the economy. Rhode Island is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by using renewable energy resources, primarily offshore wind farms, to meet 15 percent of its energy needs. From 2008 to 2010, through a public policy process that includes scientific research and stakeholder involvement, the Ocean SAMP will make Rhode Island the first state in the nation to zone its offshore waters for diverse activities including renewable energy development. This process will also protect current uses and habitats through zones for commercial fishing; critical habitats for fish, marine animals, and birds; marine transport; and moreTo support coastal planning and other activities pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act, Energy Policy Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Rivers and Harbors Act and the Submerged Lands Act.