Bottom of Mohegan Bluffs Staircase on Block Island Closed Until Further Notice Due to Erosion Related Safety Concerns

Published on Friday, June 07, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Town of New Shoreham are announcing that the bottom of the staircase at the Edward S. Payne overlook at Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island will be closed to the public until further notice to protect public safety due to erosion causing a large drop at the base of the stairs to the beach below. The overlook at the top of the bluffs, the parking lot, and the top of the stairs remains open. The bottom of the stairs is closed off to the beach because the path to the beach has been washed out. 

"Rhode Island’s coastal communities are increasingly contending with sea level rise, flooding, and erosion due to the impacts of climate change," said DEM Director Terry Gray. "We hope that those wishing to take in the dramatic view of the Atlantic from the overlook will understand that the bottom of the staircase must be closed because accessibility starts with safety. As always, DEM appreciates the partnership of the Town of New Shoreham and The Nature Conservancy in ensuring public access to this spectacular vista."

The Mohegan Bluffs are around 150 feet high and located on the southeast coast of Block Island. The staircase has over 140 steps that lead from the top of the bluffs to the base of the stairs.

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