Public Meeting, June 29th: The State of Aquaculture in RI’s Salt Ponds

salt ponds

Thursday, June 29, 2017

5:00-7:00 pm

Kettle Pond Visitor’s Center
50 Bend Road
Charlestown, RI

The public is invited to attend an education program focused on the state of aquacultue in Rhode Island’s Salt Ponds.The program will feature experts who will provide different perspectives on this topic and will offer the community the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns about aquaculture.

The event is part of the Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative which recognizes the economic and cultural value of shellfish and is an effort of Governor Gina Raimondo and a host of partners — state agencies, industry, academic and community partners focused on leveraging collaborative and creative opportunities to sustainably manage local shellfish stock, promote economic growth and jobs, and celebrate Rhode Island’s unique food cultures.

Please contact Jennifer McCann at (401) 874-6127 or with questions or comments.
Thank you, and your attendance is appreciated and welcomed.
Please RSVP

Directions to Kettle Pond Visitor Center

Aquaculture in Rhode Island: FREE Public Education Opportunities

Join the Coastal Resources Center & Rhode Island Sea Grant in a three-part public education experience on aquaculture in the Ocean State. Come and learn – from soup to nuts –what aquaculture is, looks like, and the policy and science. Join us for a detailed description of the history and science behind the 5% Rule for aquaculture in the salt ponds, learning from those who were there to shape the original policy. Share your ideas, concerns, and emerging opportunities you see in aquaculture throughout the events and these will be compiled and discussed in detail at a public forum in the summer. Events are stand-alone, so it is not required to attend all. All webinars will be made available online for those who wish to review and build individual understanding and fluency with aquaculture. All events are free and open to the public.

Please rsvp to for all below events


WEBINAR: Monday, October 24, 2016 from 5:30-6:30PM

“Aquaculture 101 for the Public” – Participate in this free, interactive Webinar, from your computer at home! Learn everything about aquaculture in Rhode Island – How many farms and acreage are in the state, a brief history and aquaculture’s beginnings, details about an aquaculture business and what it looks like on the farm, the different gear used, sound farm practices, ecological considerations, fun facts about shellfish, the policy around leases, the management process, the different agencies and groups involved, health and safety, and more. Learn also about some of the key science experiments underway in RI on aquaculture and hear future science needs and predications.


WEBINAR: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 4:00-5:00PM

“Understanding the 5% Rule for the Coastal Salt Ponds” – Participate in this free, interactive Webinar, from your computer at home! Learn from those who were involved in shaping the 5% Rule for aquaculture in Rhode Island’s coastal salt ponds. The rule states that no more than 5 percent of the salt pond area can be used for aquaculture. Hear the details about the science, policy, and decision-making that was involved to set the rule – Ask questions of those who were involved to gain a clear understanding of why the rule exists. The intention is to allow an open forum of knowledge and experience sharing so as to be better informed about what the rule is and is not.



“Addressing Concerns & Opportunities for Aquaculture in RI: A Public Conversation” – Join us at the URI/GSO Narragansett Bay Campus to discuss any and all issues/concerns as well as existing and emerging opportunities around aquaculture in RI. Building from the October and November webinars, compiling your questions and concerns, we will identify the major issues as well as opportunities related to aquaculture and how best to approach these in the short & long term from a policy, community engagement, and science perspective. Policy-makers, researchers, and industry will be present to help inform and shape a knowledge-based discussion with an engaged public. All webinars will be archived and available online for those who wish to review content before the public meeting. All are welcome to attend and help shape a productive & informed conversation. Light refreshments will be served.



Aquaculture in the Ocean State: FREE Summer Tours


What does a working shellfish farm look like up close?

What is a ‘shellfish restoration lease’ and how does it work?

Explore the answers to these questions and more this summer on our free public tours!

Hear from experts, including the “Pond to Plate” founder and owner of Matunuck Oyster Bar, the state’s Aquaculture Coordinator, and the head of the Jamestown Aquaculture Movement. Tour a working shellfish farm to see firsthand how they grow, and learn the value of shellfish restoration to our water quality and marine critters. Join us and shellfish experts to learn and discuss all aspects of shellfish farming in the Ocean State.

For adventurers! A “Wading” Tour of Matunuck Oyster Farm

Wednesday July 13, 2016
9:00AM – 11:30AM

The tour will meet in the parking lot of East Matunuck State Beach, 950 Succotash Rd, South Kingston, RI 02881.

Join Perry Raso (Owner/Operator of Matunuck Oyster Bar, Pam Lyons_Historic Perspectives of Ninigret Pond) and Dave Beutel, Aquaculture Coordinator, RI Coastal Resources Management Council for a wading tour of Perry’s shellfish growing operation in Potter Pond. The tour will start in the morning at the parking lot of East Matunuck State Beach. Good walking/water shoes required – Involves some adventuresome bush-whacking! RSVP today, limited spots available. Perry has invited ‘wading’ tour guests back to his award-winning Matunuck Oyster Bar for chowder & stuffies after the tour. Participants will also receive a free copy of the book, Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History. Please rsvp to SORRY, THIS TOUR IS FULL.

Shellfish Research in Jamestown

Monday August 15, 2016
10:00AM – 12:30PM

The tour will meet in the parking lot of the Melrose Avenue School, 76 Melrose Ave. Jamestown, RI 02835.

Join Phil Larson, founder of the Jamestown Aquaculture Movement, restoration experts, and Jamestown officials on a walking tour of an Oyster Research Site in Jamestown. Form a better understanding of what a research & education site does and come to know how one type of gear (floating) works for aquaculture. Sturdy shoes are required. Snacks & refreshments will be served and participants will receive a free copy of the book, Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History. Please rsvp to

The 5 Percent Rule:
The Science, History and Public Discussion

Monday, October 24, 2016 from 4:00-6:00PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 4:00-6:00PM
Both meetings will be held at the Coastal Institute at the URI Bay Campus

Join us this fall & winter to learn from those who were involved in shaping the “5 Percent Rule” for aquaculture in Rhode Island’s coastal salt ponds. The rule states that no more than 5 percent of the salt pond area can be used for aquaculture. Learn from scientists, policy-makers, and industry as they share the current biology and social science underway in Ninigret Pond related to aquaculture, past research that informed the 5 percent rule decision, and knowledge-sharing from those who were present in the original rule-setting. Join in the discussion during two meetings – Voice your opinions and experiences with the group and share ideas for future aquaculture management.

Events are hosted by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO) Coastal Resources Center / Rhode Island Sea Grant, through grants from NOAA’s National Sea Grant office and the Sharpe Family Foundation/Henry and Peggy Sharpe, in collaboration with CRMC and Roger Williams University.

Exciting Upcoming Seafood Events!

The Armory Farmers Market, located on Parade St. at Hudson St. in the West End of Providence, opens for the 2016 summer season on Thursday, May 26!  There will be a Seafood Throwdown cooking competition, FREE and open to the public from 4-6pm. For more info click here.

On Saturday, June 25th at the Town Beach in North Kingstown there will be a New England Quahog Festival, this is a FREE community event.  For more info click here.


South County Oyster Festival


On May 1st, 2016 from 12PM to 6PM the South County Oyster Festival will take place at the Towers in Narragansett (35 Ocean Road Narragansett) sponsored by the Matunuck Oyster Bar.  There will be food, live music, adult beverages and a shucking contest.

Tickets are $20 before April 29 or $25 at the door.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

High School Culinary Student to Compete in Seafood Cook-off


Monday, May 9, 3-5 PM at the Chariho Area Career and Technical Center
459 Switch Road Wood River Junction, RI

Shared on behalf of RI Sea Grant:
“Save the date for this second annual Rhode Island Seafood Cook-off for high school culinary students, hosted at Chariho Area Career and Technical Center.

Student teams from the Chariho Area Career & Technical Center, the Warwick Area Career & Technical Center, the Cranston Career & Technical Center, and William M. Davies, Jr. Career & Technical High School will be serving up their own original recipes for local mussels. The audience will vote for their favorite preparation, and the winning team will have their recipe featured at Trio restaurant in Narragansett, RI. They will also win their choice of lunch or dinner at 22Bowen’s restaurant, courtesy of Chef Casey Riley and the Newport Restaurant Group, and other prizes.

Robert Rheault, executive director of the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, will speak to the audience about the economic importance and environmental benefits of shellfish aquaculture, including farm-raised mussels, for Rhode Island.

The mussels for this event are donated by American Mussel Harvesters of North Kingstown, RI.

The event is free to attend, but RSVPs are required. Please call Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6805 or email

Sponsors of the 2016 Rhode Island Seafood Cook-off are the Chariho Area Career & Technical Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.


8th Annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup

Matunuck Oyster Bay is sponsoring the 8th Annual Earth Day Beach Cleanup at East Matunuck State, Potters Pond, and Soccotash Salt Marsh.  The cleanup will last until 11:30 AM and refreshments will be offered after.

For more information click here.

South County Oyster Festival


The South County Oyster Festival will take place on May 1st at the Towers in Narragansett.  The festival is sponsored by the Matunuck Oyster Bar to benefit Dylan Murano and Childhood Apaxia.

“The Oyster Festival will have a rock climbing wall from Rock Spot Climbing sponsored by BankRI.  There will also be a silent auction with many great items including a complete wedding package, signed Patriots items, and much more. To visit the GoFundMe page for Dylan Murano click here.

For tickets and more information click here.

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