New film on economic issues related to ocean planning
Sick Lobster: Challenges in New England fishery
Clues in Marcoalgea: Where are nutrients in the Bay coming from?

  • Registration is open for the 9th Marine Law Symposium: Shifting Seas, the law's response to changing ocean conditions scheduled for November, 2012.
  • Sea Grant Week in Alaska took RISG staff members far from home in September to meet with fellow colleagues nationwide and share challenges and accomplishments. While the economy is still tough many programs are doing great work to provide the best science that make real positive change in coastal communities. Visit the Sea Grant National office to learn about what other Sea Grant programs are doing.



Sunset Harbor Walk Tour
Oct. 4

Eating with the Ecosystem
Oct. 9

Saltwater Farm Tour
Oct. 12

Coastal Erosion Walking Tour
Oct. 13

Coastal Rhode Island Photography Presentation
Oct. 17
Talk & Taste with Scallops

Marine disease in Southern New England lobsters

Dr. Kathy Castro and Barbara Somers of the URI Fisheries Center published their findings of epizootic shell disease (ESD) in American lobster this year in the Journal of Shellfish Research.

Their work focused on the on the distribution and severity of this disease that affects the protective exoskeleton and the fishery in Rhode Island and Southern New England.

Findings from their study show that females carrying eggs displayed the highest disease rate, and some increase in prevalence was in sublegal males. It was also observed that small size did not deter rate of disease.

Understanding this disease, and other marine diseases, is crucial for recovering a valuable fishery resource in Southern New England.

How nitrogen in macroalgae can identify nutrient sources

The chemical and physical makeup of Narragansett Bay is changing, and researchers have been working to figure out how this change is occurring, to what extent, and to identify the source of this change -whether natural or manmade.

Courtney Schmidt, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, recently presented her work on linking the nitrogen composition of macroalgae to the source of nutrient input into the bay.

“The macroalgae live on hard substrates and integrate the isotopic composition of the dissolved nutrients in the water that flows past them,” she said, explaining that it has been assumed that nitrogen types entering estuaries are distinct enough to identify whether nutrient sources are coming from the offshore environment or from human-related activities such as wastewater treatment facilities or storm runoff.

Schmidt’s research looked areas between Field’s Point and Whale Rock in 2006 and 2012, and from Conanicut Island to Whale Rock in 2007. There was a significant difference noted between the earlier samples and the most recent in 2012, with nitrogen values in the lower region of the bay increase being the highest in 2012.

Reasons for this change are still unknown, says Schmidt, but that there many factors for the cause. Schmidt, who will be continuing future work to include looking at major nitrogen sources, such as runoff, as well as natural components such as hard clams for nitrogen isotopes with the intention of understanding the changing dynamics of Narragansett Bay. 



Economic issues of ocean planning

A new short film,America’s Ocean Economy: Challenges and Opportunities, is the first in a series that explores this effort with ocean management practitioners from around the world. The film provides an overview of economic issues related to ocean planning.

Three additional films are scheduled to be released throughout the fall and will focus on ocean planning and offshore renewable energy, fisheries, and the environment. MORE>>

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