News

Ocean Acidification Threatens Shellfish

By Cynthia Drummond | Courtesy of the Westerly Sun NARRAGANSETT — As more carbon dioxide is pumped into the earth’s atmosphere, approximately 25 percent of it is being absorbed by the ocean, where it forms carbonic acid and changes the pH balance of seawater. Ocean acidification is a less-studied effect of the complex process of
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Islanders Want Solutions: Beyond Adaptation Strategies

Block Island is a unique, isolated landscape with marshes, beaches, and bluffs exposed to the forces of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of limited resources and space, residents here are more aware of the impacts from sea level rise and severe storms, and the importance of adaptive planning. Concerned citizens, public officials, and planners gathered on October
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Elevating Drowning Salt Marshes

While many coastal residents are seeking measures to protect their homes from a rising sea and increased flooding, one is quietly losing its bid on coastal real estate and could disappear forever. The saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow, a small, stocky songbird with an orange-yellow face, is a secretive bird that can easily go unnoticed—even more so
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Planning Ocean Space for the Future: Notes from the Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium

Since the beginning of July, Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound have been abuzz with barges, tugs, and supply vessels carrying steel pilings and jacket foundations, each weighing up to 450 tons, to build what will be the country’s first offshore wind farm. “It’s often a discussion on who has the right to be there,
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Beach Profiling to Track Changes to Our Shoreline

Last month the Coastal Resources Management Council, along with the University of Rhode Island Department of Geosciences and Eastern Connecticut State University, offered a free training session in the Modified Emery Method (a.k.a two sticks and a string) – a fast and inexpensive method to track changes to the shoreline – to show how beach profiling
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Fiberglass Boats Pose New Recycling Challenge

Rhode Island Sea Grant Director, Dennis Nixon, says that fiberglass boats are posing a new problem as “Abandoned and Derelict Vessels (ADV),” which include a variety of boats from trawlers and barges to sailboats. Nixon has been investigating boat recycling and says: ‘I have learned so far that boat recycling will have to be subsidized
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Mapping Japanese Tsunami Debris and Marine Invasions: Understanding Natural Disasters and Implications of New Species

It was 2:45 p.m. on March 11, 2011, when the Tohoku region of Japan was hit with a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake, the most powerful earthquake to have ever hit Japan and fourth most powerful in the world, resulting in a catastrophic tsunami and meltdown of  three nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
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Nature or Nurture for Sandy-Damaged Shorelines

Prior to Sandy, beaches with artificial barriers and nearby development in New York, as well as Rhode Island, had fallen behind on sand nourishment and preservation, and subsequently suffered significant damage from the storm. Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly went decades without new sand. The shoreline has a significant fixed infrastructure with roads and parking lots,
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Offshore Wind Farm Marks Milestone in Energy Development and Marine Spatial Planning

As development of the first U.S. offshore wind farm begins in Block Island Sound, many Rhode Islanders and others are praising the state’s efforts in marine spatial planning and the role of the Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) in the federal regulation and permitting process. Deepwater Wind, a Providence-based developer, received permission to begin its
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Southern New England’s Horseshoe Crab Population Being Bled Dry

By Abbey Green | Courtesy of ecoRI News Older than dinosaurs, horseshoe crabs have survived plenty. But human impact may be the threat that could wash them out of the Atlantic. For more than 350 million years, these living fossils have crawled ashore underneath the light of a full moon and laid their eggs in
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