Our Mission:

Friends of the Waterfront Gazebo
Sunset harbor wharf walk
The all volunteer nonprofit

Watchdogs of the Newport Waterfront

Friends of the Waterfront (FOW) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1982 by concerned Newport citizens to insure continued public access to the Newport harbor front and shoreline. At that time, on the bay side of Newport, large hotels and time-shares were beginning to take shape along the waterfront blocking public access and obscuring the view of the water. Along Washington Street, the driftways and rights of way were being taken over by private home owners. And on the eastern side, the Cliff Walk Commission was dormant. In all of these situations, historical rights to access the shoreline were being ignored and suppressed.

Protect Public Access

Thanks to the hard work and funding by FOW volunteers over the years, major steps have been made to ensure public access. FOW led the way to ensure the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) designated Newport shoreline points of public rights-of-way to the tidal waters.

Cliff Walk Commission is now fully staffed and working hard to maintain one of the State’s biggest tourist attractions. FOW also launched the Harbor Walk concept meant to protect the public’s ability to enjoy the scenic harbor front by providing a continuous path from Washington St. to King Park. This has now been adopted by the City and can be found in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Transportation Plan and Harbor Management plan. Today we continue to partner with Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council, the Newport City Council, Planning Department and Waterfront Commission along with Save the Bay, Clean Ocean Access and URI’s Coastal Resource Center to protect the existing public access while also identifying potential additional access points.

Waterfront benches and a bicycle rack provided at 2 mini parks on the Harbor Walk
ROWs adopted with CRMC MOU by the City, FOW and Clean Ocean Access (COA)
Years of King Park Earth Day clean ups by FOW volunteers
Years of annual waterfront inspection cruises for members

The FOW Public Harbor Walk signage will help keep you on course from Washington Street (Mary Ferrazzoli Park) to King Park on Wellington Avenue (approx. 2.5 miles).

Blocked off part of Harbor Walk

Parts of the Harbor Walk appear uninviting.

FOW continues to collaborate with stakeholders to promote a safe and scenic walkway.

FOW monitors public access along the waterfront to ensure obstacles are not put in the rights-of-way.

FOW conducts guiding Harbor Walk tours

FOW organizes waterfront park clean-ups.

FOW organized waterfront park clean ups
FOW organized waterfront park clean ups
FOW-sponsored Summer Concert Series

FOW sponsors the Summer Concert Series at King Park with a generous grant from the Isham Family.

This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Newport’s beautiful waterfront and listen to fun music.

Watercolor anchor
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Become a Member!

You can donate or pay for your FOW Annual Membership using Paypal or by printing out and mailing us the membership form and include your check made out to Friends of The Waterfront.

Annual Membership

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Donation Total: $10.00


Check Our News

1 July


Shoreline Access Bill Championed by FOW Signed Into Law. [Download]