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Take Our Homeowner Survey




Ready for big weather, floods & wind damage? CLICK HERE to take our 30-minute survey and enter to win a $500, $75, or $25 gift card to Home Depot.

We are inviting 400 Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts homeowners ages 18 and older to participate in a survey to develop a better understanding of progress towards taking action to reduce your risk from increased storminess to help develop an Internet-based program.

This online survey will ask about your demographic information, history of impact from climate events, awareness of increased storminess, and attitudes toward adapting to increased storminess. 

For more information contact:

Principal Investigator: Pamela Rubinoff of the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6135 or email:

Stephen Olsen receives Rhode Island Sea Grant Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen Olsen adn BArry Costa-PierceOn December 14, 2011, Rhode Island Sea Grant honored one of the global pioneers in coastal management, Professor Stephen B. Olsen, director of the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography.

Professor Olsen received Rhode Island Sea Grant's Lifetime Achievement Award, only the 6th such award given over its 40 year history, for his outstanding leadership of CRC and contributions to Rhode Island Sea Grant. More.

New Website Launched to Clarify Health Benefits and Risks Associated wth Seafood Consumption

A new website aimed at helping consumers weigh the benefits against possible risks of eating seafood has just been launched, and organizers hope the site will help clear up many of the myths surrounding seafood.

The site,, developed largely through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was created to serve as a credible resource to health care professionals and consumers, said Dr. Michael Morrissey, Director of Oregon State University's Food Innovation Center, and primary investigator for the project.

The initiative, Seafood Health Facts: Making Smart Choices, included researchers from Oregon State University, Cornell University, and the Universities of Delaware, Rhode Island, Florida, and California, along with the non-profit Community Seafood Initiative. The end result is a user-friendly, comprehensive website and downloadable brochures aimed at health care professionals and consumers. More.

This week: Extreme high tides—A preview of sea level rise

Get your cameras out! Some of the highest tides of the year are occurring this week (October 26 - 28) and we would love your help capturing images of what could be a glimpse into the future, so grab your camera and get down to the water! MORE

Hybrid salmon: Super Food or Frankenfish?

The lecture is free and takes place on Thursday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Coastal Institute Building Auditorium at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, South Ferry Road, Narragansett. For directions, visit; RSVP to reserve a seat: please call (401) 874-6800 or e-mail

September 22 lecture "Sustainable Aquaculture: Adventures in Technology" looks at benefits of biotechnology

The developers of genetically modified salmon have been seeking FDA approval of these fish for human consumption for 15 years, but in July, eight U.S. Senators sent a letter to the FDA demanding that the agency halt the process.

Fears about this salmon—labeled "Frankenfish" by critics— include that the fish could potentially harm consumers, interfere with wild salmon populations, and economically threaten traditional fisheries.

The hybrid salmon is an Atlantic salmon with a gene from faster growing Chinook salmon, designed to allow it to grow to market size more quickly. This has economic and environmental benefits, proponents say—with less feed required to grow the salmon, they should cost less to produce and consume less fish meal, conserving ocean resources.

Elliot Entis, CEO of the American Salmon Company, will argue for the benefits of this type of genetic technology in his lecture "Sustainable Aquaculture: Adventures in Technology," in which he describes "why biotechnology can help the environment and keep us better fed."


Celebrate the coast in September and October

Trawl trips, turbine tours, and a lecture on genetically modified salmon are being offered. For more information, see Coastweeks.

July 21: Seafood Cooking Demonstration

Join chef Normand Leclair for a free seafood cooking demonstration at the Narragansett Community Center at 6 p.m. on July 21.

Leclair will demonstrate different preparations for locally available and sustainable seafood, with samples of summer flounder and bluefish provided by The Local Catch and Deep Sea Fish of Rhode Island, Inc. Copies of his book, Culinary Expressions, will be available or may be ordered on-line at

The demonstration is free, but seating is limited, so you must contact Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 to reserve your seat. The community center is located at 53 Mumford Rd., Narragansett, across from the Narragansett Elementary School and Sprague Field.

This event is sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI Cooperative Extension/Nutrition and Food Sciences Department, and the Town of Narragansett/Parks and Recreation.

Award recognizes 50 years of research on Narragansett Bay

Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, director of Rhode Island Sea Grant, presented Dr. Theodore Smayda, research professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, with a "Recognition of Outstanding Service Award" at an event honoring Smayda and his life's work on June 23, 2011. The award noted Smayda's "outstanding service to Narragansett Bay, the global marine science community, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program."

Symposium on sustainable seafood brings science, industry, and culinary worlds together

PROVIDENCE—A unique symposium is bringing together scientists, chefs, and seafood industry representatives to talk about—and eat—sustainable seafood this summer in Providence.

From June 26 to 28, the 10th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, "Developing the Rhode Island Seafood Knowledge Economy: Perspectives on Seafood Sustainability," will take place at Johnson & Wales University and Save The Bay. This symposium is open to the public.

"More and more restaurants and retailers are getting questions from their customers about where their seafood comes from, and if it's sustainable, but answering that question can be difficult. Is sustainable seafood harvested locally or using specific methods? Can farmed salmon be sustainable? Are some types of seafood more healthful than others? This symposium looks at all those issues to help sort them out for suppliers so they can educate their customers," says Cathy Roheim, URI professor of natural resource economics and head of the URI Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

This symposium offers different viewpoints on what makes seafood sustainable, including environmental, economic, and health aspects. A focus will be on locally important species, both those produced in the region and those frequently available for sale to Rhode Island consumers.

Scientists, seafood suppliers, and chefs will discuss the sustainability of seafood, consumer preferences, and health topics, among others. They will also discuss the affect on the seafood economy from substituting local or regional best choices in place of imports. Participants will leave the symposium able to make more informed decisions about purchasing seafood.

One highlight of the symposium is the opportunity for participants to prepare seafood dishes for the symposium dinner on June 27 under the guidance of expert chefs.

Space is limited; early registration is encouraged. The registration fee of $175 includes all meals noted in the agenda. For more information, including agenda and registration materials, please visit, email, or call (401) 874-6800.

Announcing the 2011 Baird Symposium on Sustainable Seafood

The 2011 Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, "Developing the Rhode Island Seafood Knowledge Economy: Perspectives on Seafood Sustainability," takes place June 26-28 in Providence. Scientists, seafood suppliers, and chefs will offer their perspectives on sourcing sustainable seafood, consumer preferences, and health topics, among others, and participants will get to prepare—and taste—sustainable seafood dishes under the guidance of expert chefs. Registration is $175, and includes all meals noted in the agenda. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. For more information, visit the Baird Symposium website.

Job Available for URI Students

Rhode Island Sea Grant is seeking a URI student to assist in general office duties and communications tasks.

Hours: Approximately 15 hours/week; hourly rate is $7.40-$8.25/hour (based on experience)


  • Compose articles and perform editing for publications and websites
  • Post frequent updates to our Facebook and Twitter sites
  • Compose and type routine correspondence and memoranda using word processing software
  • Maintain database of Sea Grant articles
  • Operate office equipment: fax machine, copy machine, office computer
  • Assist in planning and execution of various events, which may include evenings/weekends
  • Copy and file documents
  • Perform other related duties as required


  • Strong written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to learn and adapt quickly
  • Ability to establish priorities, work independently, and proceed with objectives with minimal supervision
  • Ability to multitask
  • Must have access to transportation
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop a plus

Location: This position will be located at Rhode Island Sea Grant, University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography,Narragansett Bay Campus.
Contact Info: Please contact Tracy Kennedy at (401) 874-6800 or for more details.

McCann appointed Director of Extension

Rhode Island Sea Grant is unifying its extension efforts under the leadership of Jennifer McCann, Rhode Island Sea Grant's extension leader for coastal programs. Director Barry Costa-Pierce has appointed McCann as Rhode Island Sea Grant Director of Extension Programs.

McCann will now manage an extension portfolio that includes coastal and fisheries programs, and she will be working to develop extension opportunities in the areas of marine spatial planning, sustainable seafoods, and working waterfronts.

McCann will continue to serve as the Director of the U.S. Program for the URI Coastal Resources Center.

R.I. Coastal Hazard Web Portal Joins National Network

New StormSmart Coasts website provides information on preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts

As last year's flooding and this year's blizzards have demonstrated, Rhode Island cities and towns must be prepared to respond before storms hit to protect people and property.

StormSmart Coasts is a website designed for local officials whose towns face risks from storms, flooding, and sea level rise. Rhode Island is the seventh state nationally and only the second in New England to launch its own StormSmart website. The site contains resources to help communities take action to improve coastal resiliency.

The website is available at, and includes sections specifically for town council members or town managers, planning boards, building departments, and public works departments. Members can also interact with each other via the website to share information. This feature will be highlighted at the April 26 R.I. Flood Mitigation Association annual meeting, where participants in Rhode Island will link with other New England states for a webinar to discuss StormSmart Coasts resources and outreach tools.

"RIEMA's Floodplain Management Program is proud to be part of this national effort. Providing useful information to communities and its residents on hazard preparedness is incredibly important, as Rhode Islanders witnessed firsthand during last year's flooding events," said Michelle Burnett, Rhode Island's state floodplain manager.

StormSmart Coasts is supported by the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and was developed for Rhode Island by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the R.I. Emergency Management Agency, the R.I. Building Commission and the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC). The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is a regional sponsor.

"All of the partners involved in StormSmart Coasts have expertise to offer in helping Rhode Island prepare for storms. This website consolidates that information and offers visitors a portal to real-time updates and to experts from other states," said Pamela Rubinoff, coastal management extension specialist for Rhode Island Sea Grant/URI Coastal Resources Center.

"The CRMC is thrilled to be a part of the launching of this website for Rhode Island," said CRMC Chairman Michael M. Tikoian. "StormSmart Coasts will provide invaluable information for communities all over the state, and will hopefully make a difference in storm preparedness and response."

Applying Marine Spatial Planning as a Tool to Site Offshore Renewable Energy and Other Future Uses

May 23-25, 2011
University of Rhode Island & Rhode Island Sea Grant

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is emerging as one of the nation's most effective tools for managing existing and future activities within our coastal and ocean regions. Rhode Island has over 30 years of experience implementing MSP to manage growth, including offshore renewable energy, and to protect natural resources. This training will enable participants to learn about applying MSP in their states and regions, and to explore management tools and techniques at use in Rhode Island. These tools and techniques, such as the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), are opportunities to proactively apply MSP and determine locations and standards for the sustainable development of offshore renewable energy resources in the United States. Topics include:

  • Techniques to site of offshore renewable energy facilities and other offshore development
  • Methodologies to engage stakeholders (commercial fishermen, municipalities and the environmental communities) in identifying how they use these ocean resources and engage in the development of constructive policy
  • Policies and standards that streamline the permitting process while protecting existing uses and natural resources.

Participants will be able to share their own state's or region's efforts to apply MSP or to site offshore renewable energy, with trainers providing one-on-one technical advice and guidance on how to move forward on implementation. Post-training mentoring will also be available for participants.

For more information on this training opportunity, please contact Jennifer McCann at or at (401) 874-6127.

2011 Rhode Island Sea Grant Research
Mini-Conference: Coastal and Ocean Research Serving Rhode Island

March 11, 2011
University of Rhode Island
White Hall Auditorium, Kingston Campus
1:30-5:00 p.m.

Students, faculty and members of the community are invited to an afternoon dedicated to current research findings regarding Rhode Island's coastal and marine environments and resources.

This event provides students and faculty interested in Rhode Island's coastal and marine waters an opportunity to network and explore opportunities for research funding through Rhode Island Sea Grant. Interested members of the community are also encouraged to

Special Guest, Dr. Theodore Smayda (Professor, GSO) will discuss his research that has generated the most extensive database in the world for a temperate estuary, which dates back nearly 50 years!  Other speakers, selected from among those scientists whose research is funded by Rhode Island Sea Grant, will discuss topics on nutrient cycling in Narragansett Bay to climate change and marine diseases.

Refreshments will be served. See the agenda.

Knauss Fellowship 2012 call for applications

Rhode Island Sea Grant invites qualified individuals to submit applications for the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. Approximately 30 individuals are selected nationally for this prestigious Fellowship to spend a year in Washington, D.C., working in Congress or the Executive Branch on critical marine policy and resource management issues. The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a stipend and living expense allowance totaling $49,000. The one-year Fellowship begins February 1, 2012. For more information on applying, including application deadlines, download the announcement.

January 5, 2011: Fisheries Workshop "Collaborative Research: What do we need to know about project design, methods and data analysis?"

Cartoon of scientistAn experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.

As fishermen step up to the research table, there are many questions about how to design a good project: Why do you tow where there aren't any fish? Did that gear really reduce bycatch? How many tows do you need to answer the question? What is the power of your statistical test? What is the significance level? It is science-speak, the black box that seems very complicated. But these aspects of project design can make or break your idea. Without a good design, you may not get funded, or at the end of a project, you could have inconclusive results that can't answer your question.

Experimental design determines whether a research report is read or ignored, whether a result is accepted or rejected, and whether a scientist is judged superior or inferior.

We will cover topics such as: Differences between observational science and experimental science, hypothesis testing, power and significance, determination of sample size and sampling design, parametric or non-parametric analysis, correlation vs. causation, and reporting the results. We will make it simple and easy to understand to help you make your collaborative research proposal competitive and meaningful. Free of charge but please let us know you are coming!

PLACE: URI Fisheries Center, East Farm, Building 83, Kingston RI
DATE: Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 1-4 p.m.

For more information contact Kathy Castro at 401-874-5063 email:

This workshop is sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI Fisheries Center, and URI Cooperative Extension.

Rhode Island Sea Grant e-Newsletter

Rhode Island Sea Grant's e-newsletter offers monthly updates on our projects, staff, and announcements of funding opportunities, upcoming events, and new publications. To read the e-newsletter on-line, click here. To subscribe, e-mail We will not share your e-mail address.

41°N Magazine

41°N is a magazine that is produced twice a year in partnership between Rhode Island Sea Grant and the URI Coastal Institute. This publication serves not only to keep readers informed of the programs' activities and research findings but to bring them science-based perspectives on critical issues such as climate change. The name 41°N is taken from the degree of latitude at which Rhode Island is located, but it also represents the concept that many of these issues are of concern around the world. To read 41°N online, visit To receive 41°N by mail, contact Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 or

Rhode Island Sea Grant Events

Rhode Island Sea Grant sponsors a community lecture series each summer and Coastweeks, a series of events celebrating the coast, in the fall, as well as other events throughout the year. Events include cooking demonstrations, coastal cleanups, book discussions, and more. To join our mailing list to receive our calendars of events, e-mail