News

Sea Grant Director Recognized for Career Dedicated to the Oceans

Where Has All the Eelgrass Gone?

A slide showing two different sets of eelgrass plants glowed on the screen. The set on the left seemed stunted and short. The set on the right had willowy, long shoots. If you knew nothing about eelgrass, you might conclude that the plants on the right were the healthier of the two. In fact, however,
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PBS Community Conversation: Is Narragansett Bay Too Clean?

Inspired by presentations and conversations generated at the Rhode Island Sea Grant Baird Science Symposium, Rhode Island PBS will be hosting a panel to further discuss changes in Narragansett Bay. Fishermen complain that bureaucrats have over-treated Narragansett Bay and damaged their livelihood. Scientists say the Bay is healthier than it has been in decades. With
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Shellfish Shorts: Seafood Safety

It’s the perfect time to get out and take advantage of the abundant shellfish harvest here in Rhode Island! However, there are important steps you’ll need to take to ensure that the shellfish you eat can be safely enjoyed. Catherine White, of the Rhode Island Department of Health, talks about simple precautions to take when
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Can Plankton Survive Warming Seas?

Have you ever tried to turn the lights on only to learn the switch was connected to something else entirely? The same can be true for the environment where flipping on or off one switch (e.g. changing atmospheric chemistry) can turn others on or off as well (e.g. changing surface temperatures). “If we increase carbon
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What’s to Blame for Decreased Productivity in Narragansett Bay?

Climate Change or Clean Water? In the talks at the 2017 Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, two causes vied for recognition as the primary driver of changes to sea life—reductions in effluent discharges from wastewater treatment plants and climate change. John King, University of Rhode Island geological oceanographer and climate change expert, was
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Shifting Species: Ecological Changes in Narragansett Bay

Narragansett Bay today is not what it once was 100, or even 10, years ago. Coastal development and growing populations over time have meant changes to the bay’s geography and a greater influx of nutrients, such as nitrogen, as well as metals and other toxins. These human influences interplay with a host of complex natural
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Winners of the Sea Grant-URI Research Photo Contest

Temitope Ogunwumi, an art/communication studies undergraduate student of from Cumberland, R.I., took first place in the Research & Scholarship Photo Contest co-sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island for “Train Tracks,” a shot in Chicago for a photography class assignment in January 2017, which explored themes of lines and symmetry in urban
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Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium Proceedings: All Eyes on the Bay

Lobsters with shell disease, fewer crabs, less kelp, a water column seemingly devoid of life. More productivity in the open ocean than in Narragansett Bay. A correlation of this decline with reductions to wastewater treatment plant effluent discharges. Organisms growing prolifically on oyster cages in the bay. Better growth of oysters in the bay than
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Shellfish Shorts: The Flavor of Oysters

Robert “Skid” Rheault, executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and Perry Raso, owner of Matunuck Oyster Bar, describe the “meroir” – the unique taste – of oysters. “It’s like terroir, what we know about wines, the subtle flavors that separate different types of wine,” says Skid, applying the same concept to oysters. “Similarly, the subtle differences
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