Blue mussels not yet the bellwether of NE coastal environment

The following information was released by Brown University: PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Mussels could be the perfect ‘sentinel’ species to signal the health of coastal ecosystems. But a new study of blue mussels in estuary ecosystems along 600 kilometers of coastline in the Northeast uncovered three key mysteries that will have to be solved first. Ecologists sometimes look
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The Nitrogen Cycle Lie

The nitrogen cycle seems simple. As a gas, it’s the most abundant element in the atmosphere, but it can quickly be turned into organic nitrogen, ammonium or nitrate through fixation done naturally in ecosystems by microbes. It can then be used to fuel plant growth. But there’s a catch. “It’s a lie. A total lie,”
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New Documentary on Narragansett Bay Quahogs

Narragansett Bay quahogs have not only served as a cultural icon to the state, but are also a valuable commodity supporting a $5 million fishery. The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation (CFRF) has released a new documentary showcasing the value of the Rhode Island quahog and efforts of a collaborative research project to protect this important resource. Taking Stock
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STORMTOOLS Sets Up RI Coast for Resiliency

Rhode Island communities are stepping up to a national challenge in planning for sea level and storms at a local level. In his State of the Union address on January 20, President Barack Obama said that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Rhode Island has already felt the brunt of climate
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State of Oyster Restoration Policies: New Legal Report

When it comes to restoration projects, especially oyster restoration, no two states are alike, but navigating the regulatory process is a challenge for everyone. Many coastal areas are experiencing a decrease in oyster habitat- which is essential to ecosystem functioning and health- due to development, pollution, disease, and climate change among other various factors. To
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Sea Grant Resilience Toolkit

Check out Sea Grant’s new Resilience Toolkit, which features tools and resources developed over the years by Sea Grant to help communities across the nation be more resilient. As coastal populations continue to grow, more people are vulnerable to natural hazards such as severe storms, erosion and flooding, as well as water quality challenges associated
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Are the Costs of Resiliency Worthwhile?

The added costs for more resilient infrastructure are causing tension as coastal communities grapple with how to recover, and to what extent, after devastating storms such as Sandy. After being nearly demolished by Superstorm Sandy, one waterfront hotel in Westerly becomes an open-air restaurant; two small restaurants become mobile operations that pack up when a
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David Ghigliotti

R.I. Shellfish Management Plan Builds Community to Protect Resource

For many in Rhode Island’s shellfish industry, their occupation is more than just a job. “I used to see these guys coming in and it was just awe-inspiring to see all these quahoggers and the old time guys that I still look up to,” said commercial shellfisherman David Ghigliotti in this 7-minute video about Rhode Island
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Getting back to business after Sandy: Lessons from the Westerly Chamber of Commerce

Delivering pizza to hungry crews of volunteers cleaning up debris from flooded shop floors. Helping businesses decipher the fine print of their insurance policies and fill out grant applications. Such tasks could never have been foreseen by Lisa Konicki, executive director of the Westerly Chamber of Commerce, as part of her job when she first
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Students Redesign Storer Park for Coastal Resilience

Students enrolled in the University of Rhode Island (URI) Landscape Architecture program were tasked at finding innovative coastal adaptation strategies as part of their senior studio for Newport’s Storer Park, which sits as a southern gateway to the city’s historic Point Neighborhood along the Newport Harbor Walk. Recent storms along Rhode Island’s coastline have brought the reality of
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