Climate Change Effects on Recreational Fishing and Boating: Opportunities and Actions is a two-part webinar series that engaged Northeast recreational anglers, boaters, and climate experts in discussions about how climate change is affecting these traditional uses – both good and bad. Strategies and actions that individuals, governments, and industry are taking to respond to these changes were also discussed. See below for Session 1 info. Session 2: “Climate Change Opportunities for Anglers and Boaters” April 13 from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Part 1 of this session featured a discussion on “Adapting to the Changing Climate” in which panelists will talk about strategies and actions they have implemented to adapt to climate change. Part 2 of this session looked at “Big Strategies Towards Resiliency.” Panelists shared approaches industry, government, and environmental advocates are taking toward resiliency that also enhance recreational boating and fishing.


Session 2 Speakers

Capt. Chris Willi  Block Island Fish Works

James Monti Private recreational fisher

Capt. Richard Lipsitz Angler and winner 2021 BI Inshore Fishing Tournament

Greg DeCelles Chief Science Officer, Ørsted

Meredith Moore  Director, Fish Conservation Program, Ocean Conservancy 

Chris McGuire  Director, Ocean Programs, The Nature Conservancy

Jonathan Stone Executive Director, Save The Bay

Session 1: “Experiencing Climate Change in the Field: What does it mean?” – March 23 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. WATCH SESSION 1 WEBINAR

Session 1 Speakers

Todd Corayer  Award-winning Fishing Writer, Kayak-fishing Sharpie and Fish Advocate

Willy Goldsmith, Ph.D.  Executive Director, American Saltwater Guides Association

Jon Hare, Ph.D. Director, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Joe Mariani  Regional Vice President, Safe Harbor Marinas

Pamela Rubinoff  Coastal Management and Climate Extension Specialist University of Rhode Island/GSO – Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant 

Abbie Schuster  Charter Captain and Fishing Guide, Fish Conservationist and Advocate

Capt. Greg Vespe  Executive Director, RI Saltwater Anglers Association

Mike Wade  Watch Hill Outfitters, Owner, Climate/Fish Advocate and Expert Fisher


Photo Contest:

The “Effects of Climate Change on Recreational Fishing and Boating” webinar series hosted a photo contest to depict effects of climate change . The winners of the photo contest are Abbie Schuster and James Turek.

Fish being returned to water

Striped bass release in the wash. Photo by Abbie Schuster


Beach erosion in Westerly

Beach erosion, Weekapaug Fire District Beach, Westerly, RI: Sea level rise, increasing storm events, and large storm surges are wearing away our coastal beaches and other shorelines. Photo by James Turek


Event Participants: University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography, Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Ørsted, American Saltwater Guides Association, Ocean Conservancy, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, and Safe Harbor Marinas. Jennifer McCann is an organizer for the event series; her focus is coastal and ocean management policy and practice as Director of U.S. Coastal Programs at the URI Coastal Resources Center and Director of Extension for Rhode Island Sea Grant. David Monti is a licensed charter captain serving in leadership roles on several marine- and fisheries-based boards and organizations, including the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council; he writes about recreational fisheries issues for several publications, including The Providence Journal. Header image photo credits: (1) Courtesy Neil Epstein, (2) Photo by Capt. John McMurray