Presentations from the HAB Monitoring Workshop- September 2017

HABS_screenshotPosted on behalf of RI DEM:

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and partners held an informational meeting on September 12th to review Rhode Island’s new monitoring and contingency response plan for harmful algae blooms (HAB). Last year, Rhode Island experienced its first HAB caused by the presence of toxic phytoplankton in local waters; the event triggered an emergency closure of the state’s shellfishing areas. A subsequent bloom earlier this year resulted in a second emergency closure of some waters.

Presentations on HAB were given by DEM, RI Department of Health, and researchers at URI and DEM. All presentations are posted here HAB Monitoring Plan Workshop Presentations_Sept2017.

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit Follow on Facebook at or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

Webinar—Understanding the 5% Rule for the Coastal Salt Ponds

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

To join the meeting:

“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.
Presented by retired URI Professor David Bengston. Prof. Bengston was a member of the working group that convened in 2007 to determine the 5% Rule.

Prof. Bengston will explain the original process with the goal of giving webinar participants 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.

The recorded webinar and a summary document will be posted online at:

For more information, please contact

Sustainable Water Quality Solutions Project Introduction and Brainstorming Session

Exploring Sustainable Water Quality Solutions for Upper Narragansett Bay:
Project Intro & Brainstorming Session
Tuesday December 2, 2014: 1-4 PM
Narragansett Bay Commission
Providence, RI

You are cordially invited to a meeting to brainstorm future opportunities for the restoration and sustainable water quality management of Upper Narragansett Bay on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 1 to 4 PM at the Narragansett Bay Commission headquarters in Providence, RI.

The Rhode Island Bays, Rivers and Watersheds Coordination Team has launched a stakeholders process to identify sustainable, cost-effective management and restoration strategies that will further improve water quality and the overall ecological health of upper Narragansett Bay.

Phase one of the stakeholders process seeks to 1) identify, examine, and evaluate four to five ecosystem-based approaches that could be undertaken within the bay or along the coastline that will improve water and habitat quality , 2) identify data and research gaps regarding the most promising approaches, and 3) develop consensus on which approaches merit further pursuit and planning.

To lead this process, the Coordination Team has convened a Project Steering Committee (PSC) consisting of the organizations and individuals whose input, participation, and consensus is most needed to select and approve the most promising approaches. The PSC is supported by the Horsley Witten Group and the Consensus Building Institute.

The PSC and consultants have initially identified four ecosystem­based management categories that merit further research and consideration:

o Shellfish & Macroalgae Cultivation & Restoration
o Reducing Tidal & Circulatory Restrictions
o Restoring Wetlands
o Enhancing Buffer Zones & Shorelines
o Stormwater Management & Green Infrastructure

This kick-off meeting will convene scientists, technical experts, and management officials with a diversity of technical expertise to share and discuss their questions, ideas, and knowledge on these categories of alternative strategies for restoring the water quality, habitats, and ecological integrity of Upper Narragansett Bay. Meeting participants will be encouraged to brainstorm and share additional options and ideas that warrant further consideration. Findings from the meeting will be used to organize a series of targeted, topical workshops to be held in the first half of 2015.

Attached here is a draft meeting agenda.

If you can possibly join us, please RSVP by Wednesday, November 26 to:

Kimberly Kirwan
401 468 8848 x391

If you cannot join us, let us know if there is someone that we should invite in your place.
Thank you in advance for joining us. We look forward to a productive meeting!

PSC Members:
Angelo Liberti & Sue Kiernan Department of Environmental Management
Tom Uva & Pamela Reitsma Narragansett Bay Commission
Ames Colt Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team
Jeff Willis Coastal Resources Management Council
Jared Rhodes Statewide Planning
Tom Borden Narragansett Bay Estuary Program
Hal Walker EPA ORD Atlantic Ecology Division
Mark Nelson & Stacie Smith Horsley Witten Group & Consensus Building Institute

Notice of Public Meeting 10-29-14

Shared on behalf of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Division of Agriculture

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Division of Agriculture
Notice of Public Meeting – Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 3:30 PM

Notice is hereby given that a public hearing regarding the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) Small Grants and Technical Assistance Program will be held in Room 300 of the RI Department of Environmental Management, at 235 Promenade Street, Providence, Rhode Island.

The purpose of this hearing is to accomplish the purposes of RIGL 2-25-8 which requires the Department to annually schedule and conduct one or more public meetings to solicit input from the general public on whether the program is meeting its intended purposes, and to solicit recommendations for modifying the program.


  • General overview of the program (Ken Ayars, DEM)
  • Grant round #1 overview (Leo Pollock, RI Food Policy Council)
  • Group breakouts:
  1. Discussion relative to 2015 round #2 priorities
  2. Discussion relative to outreach strategy for 2015 round #2
  • Wrap up & next steps (Ken Ayars & Leo Pollock)

Written comments are welcome and may be emailed to or mailed to/dropped off at the Division of Agriculture office at 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908 until Wednesday, November 12th at 4:00 pm. Email submissions are strongly preferred. All oral and written comments will be considered in the same manner.

NOTES: If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Ken Ayars, Chief, Division of Agriculture, 222-2781 ext. 4500,, or Nicole Pollock, Assistant to the Director, 222-4700 ext. 2038,

The meeting location is accessible to handicapped persons. If you require interpreter services for the hearing impaired, please request by contacting TDD number 222-1205 or #711 (R.I. Relay), at least 3 days in advance of the meeting.

June 19th Webinar: Social Media Tips for Direct Marketing of Farmed Seafood

Shared on behalf of the National Sea Grant Law Center

A Social Media Tips for Direct Marketing Aquaculture Products webinar will be held June 19th, 2014 at 5:00 pm. Speakers will provide information on how to use social media to sell aquaculture products directly to customers and the legal issues associated with this marketing.

To watch please click here! Use the meeting number: 195 528 184 to tune in.

Audio connection is also available at 1-415-655-0001.

Rhode Island Seafood Challenge: Chowder Cookoff – April 4th


The 2014 Rhode Island Seafood Challenge puts Johnson & Wales University culinary students to the test making Rhode Island-style clam chowder

Join us for the 2014 Rhode Island Seafood Challenge—a chowder cookoff at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on Friday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. [Reservations required; see below.]

Three teams of JWU culinary students will prepare their own original recipes for Rhode Island-style clam chowder for a guest audience of other JWU students and the public. The audience will get to taste each of the chowders and vote for their favorite. The winning team will be featured on NBC 10’s Cooking with Class with Chef Frank Terranova.

In addition to the recipe challenge, experts will present talks on Rhode Island’s seafood industry and food safety. Speakers will include Ken Ayars, chief of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, Chris Lee, director at Sea Fresh, a seafood processor and wholesaler in North Kingstown, R.I., and Lori Pivarnik, coordinator of the University of Rhode Island’s Food Safety Outreach/Research Program in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

“Incorporating fresh, local ingredients is a focus of the Wellness and Sustainability concentration that many of our students are studying. This competition is a way to share that with the public while challenging our students to experiment with this great locally available seafood,” said William Idell, department chair in the JWU College of Culinary Arts.

Fresh clams will be donated by Atlantic Capes Fisheries in Bristol, R.I.

This event will be held at the JWU Harborside Campus Amphitheater. Seating is limited. This event is free, but advance reservations are required by contacting Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 or

Toxic Algae and Oyster Disease in Narragansett Bay Presentation on March 26th

Coastal State Discussion Series: Toxic Algae and Oyster Disease in Narragansett Bay

Rhode Island researchers discuss impacts of emerging algal species and marine disease that may impact the state’s seafood and water resources.

Two potential threats have emerged in Narragansett Bay waters that raise concern for both the health of Rhode Island waters and the overall state of the seafood industry.

Researchers David Borkman, marine plankton expert at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography, and Roxanna Smolowitz, shellfish and fish disease expert at Roger Williams University, will discuss findings of a new harmful algae species and an oyster parasite in the second event of the Coastal State Discussion Series on Wednesday, March 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the University Club on URI’s Kingston campus.

Borkman has been studying marine plankton in Narragansett Bay for several decades and has found a new species of algae in R.I. waters, the third observation of this species on the East Coast and the first in New England. He will discuss his findings and studies of this highly toxic species and what its presence may mean for the health of the Bay.

Smolowitz will discuss her work that looks at the transmission and impact of a new parasitic disease in the eastern oyster. This parasite has been linked to the death of oysters in Martha’s Vineyard, and its presence in Rhode Island shows a potential for significant infection of eastern oyster farms, impacting the state’s $2 million oyster industry.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so please contact Meredith Haas at to reserve a place or for more information. The University Club is located on Upper College Road on URI’s Kingston Campus.

The Coastal State series is sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant and the URI Coastal Institute with the support of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences. This lecture is also supported by the Rhode lsland Shellfish Management Plan.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is located at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. For more information, visit

RIDEM: “Rules and Regulations Governing the Rhode Island Seafood Brand and the Mislabeling of Marine Species”

Attached please find proposed “Rules and Regulations Governing the Rhode Island Seafood Brand and the Mislabeling of Marine Species” and a public hearing notice for August 27, 2013, 6 pm, at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Corliss Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI. Kindly distribute within the Rhode Island fishing community. Written comments may be submitted concerning the regulations proposed for promulgation to the Division of Agriculture, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI by 12:00 pm on August 27, 2013. There will be an informal question and answer period immediately following the public hearing at Corliss Auditorium on August 27th, and you may discuss informally with DEM in advance of the public hearing by contacting Ken Ayars, Chief, Division of Agriculture (222-2781 ext. 4500,, Pete Susi, Deputy Chief, Division of Agriculture (222-2781 ext. 4517,, or Robert Ballou, Assistant to the Director (222-4700 ext. 4420,   

A copy of the proposed regulations can be requested by mail or are available at the Division of Agriculture, RIDEM, located at 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. Electronic copies of the proposed regulations are available on the DEM website at the following web address: The RI Seafood Brand to which the regulations pertain is attached, please be advised this brand has been trademarked by DEM.

A point of clarification regarding the proposed regulations:  the monetary penalties in Section 8.00(1) pertain only to violations of Section 7.00 regarding the mislabeling of marine species. The penalty proposed for any person improperly using the seafood logo or brand is limited to the suspension or revocation of the authorization or right to use the brand.

Ken Ayars, Chief
Division of Agriculture, RIDEM

To view or download: DEM Proposed Regulations.

1 2