Spring 2015 SMP Newsletter

Welcome and long-live the long-awaited SPRING! We hope you’re all bustling like birds and bees with house, farm, and fishing projects. We’ve all survived the winter and now it’s time to look ahead to bright and productive spring & summer seasons!

On the SMP front, work has continued. Some news to share:

    • The SMP Implementation Team, composed of state and industry leaders, is hard at work developing a strategy to make your SMP recommendations happen.
    • A SMP stakeholder meeting will be held on Thurs. June 25th, 5:00-7:00pm in Corless Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus to discuss the SMP Implementation of recommendations,research opportunities, and upcoming events. Feature presentation on shellfish restoration work by RWU’s Matt Griffin.
    • The SMP Team is working hard in partnership with our state and national leadership to formally launch a Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative, in alignment with NOAA’s National Shellfish Initiative. A state initiative will keep the focus and momentum on shellfish resources, industries, and local seafood promotion in the state as well as generate new and exciting synergies and opportunities.
    • RI DEM, the wild harvest shellfish industry, and the Department of Health successfully crafted new shellfish handling regulations to help maintain the excellent reputation for quality and safety of Rhode Island-harvested shellfish. Full regulations can be found here on page 26.
    • Rhode Island Sea Grant is offering funding for 2016-2018 research projects related
      to: a) improved understanding of shellfish stock assessment and populations, and b) impacts of climate change on finfish and shellfish in Narragansett Bay. More info can be found here; proposals are due June 1st.
    • Be sure to join the shellfish community and our state leadership on May 28th, 11:30am- 5:00pm for Agriculture Day at the State House in Providence. Amongst the festivities & food, the winners of this year’s Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grants will be announced.
    • Looking down the pike, some events to mark on your calendars: The 4th Annual  Quahoggers Jamboree on June 24th from 5-8pm at the Warwick Library; 2nd Annual Oyster Festival on June 21st @ 11am in Bristol ; August 7/8/9th is the annual Charlestown Seafood Festival; Sept. 12/13th is the Rhode Island Seafood Festival in Galilee; and Sept.19th is the Ocean State Oyster Festival in Providence.  These are only some of the many shellfish-related events sure to happen this summer. Stay tuned; we’ll post more as we hear of them. If you have an event to share, please email us!
    • Summer season is approaching which means digging your own shellfish! Remember to KEEP IT COLD! Bring ice packs and a cooler with you to the clam flats, do not leave shellfish in a hot car, and refrigerate in a dry bowl when you return home. Cold shellfish are safe shellfish!
    • RI DEM will be carrying on the SMP tradition and hosting three “Clamming 101” classes this summer. Dates to be decided; contact Kim.Sullivan@DEM.RI.Gov for more info and to sign up.
    • Reminder: In February, the RI DEM Office of Water Resources’ Shellfish Program went live with a new and improved website, complete with an interactive shellfish map and new email address going directly to shellfish program staff to better respond to missing/damaged signs or data requests. The email: dem.shellfish@dem.ri.gov and website.

Remember, the SMP document can be found at: http://www.rismp.org/the-plan/.  There will be future opportunity to update the SMP; we’ll keep you posted. Hope to see you soon! As always, feel free to contact us or stop by to share news/events/concerns. smp@etal.uri.edu or 401.874.6197.

Thank you,
The SMP Team