Summary Notes from June 29th, State of Aquaculture in RI’s Salt Ponds Ready to Review

salt ponds

The State of Aquaculture in Rhode Island’s Salt Ponds

Thursday, June 29, 2017

5:00-7:00 pm

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

Summary Notes- June 29, 2017 Aquaculture Meeting

Agenda The State of Aquaculture in the Salt Ponds | Aquaculture Fact Sheet

The public was invited to attend an education program focused on the state of aquaculture in Rhode Island’s Salt Ponds.The program featured experts who provided different perspectives on this topic and offered 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.

Releasing Making the Magic Videos–Lessons Learned from the Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan


How do you create a comprehensive plan for state shellfish resources that is not only effective and efficient but reflects the needs of government, industry and community groups? Find out through this new film series: Making the Magic.

The SMP is the state’s first comprehensive plan for the management, protection and enhancement of shellfish resources; since plan adoption in 2014, more than 70 percent of SMP recommendations have been, or are being, implemented.

This effort is part of the Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative. The Initiative recognizes the economic and cultural value of shellfish to Rhode Island. Through it, state agencies, industry, academia and community partners will further efforts to sustainably manage local shellfish stock, promote economic growth and jobs, and celebrate Rhode Island’s unique food cultures.





Important: Narragansett Bay Shellfish Closures— 10/7/16


Samples collected by DEM and testing conducted by HEALTH today has confirmed that a bloom of the phytoplankton Pseudo-nitzschia spp is producing toxics. The toxin produced by this phytoplankton, domoic acid, is responsible for causing amnesiac shellfish poisoning (ASP).  The symptoms of ASP can include short and long term memory loss along with other serious health effects.
RIDEM is working with HEALTH to collect shellfish for analysis to determine if the toxins are present in shellfish meats at levels of concern. Given the high phytoplankton concentrations measured at several locations throughout the Bay DEM is taking this precautionary step of closing all portions of Narragansett Bay where elevated concentrations of this phytoplankton were found.
Effective sunrise tomorrow Friday October 7, 2016 and until further notice, shellfish harvesting is prohibited in waters of Narragansett Bay, Greenwich Bay, and all tributaries to those waters north of a line from a point just north of the Pettaquamscutt (Narrow) River at Cormorant Point to Beavertail Point in Jamestown to Brenton Point in Newport and south of a line from south of a line from the Old Tower at Nayatt Point to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management range marker on a pole located on Conimicut Point.
At this time the conditional areas of Mt. Hope Bay and the Kickemuit River are scheduled to reopen at noon on Saturday October 8.
DEM maintains a 24-hour shellfishing hotline, providing updates on shellfish closure areas: 401-222-2900.


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.

RI DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announces “Come Clam with Me” Schedule!

RIDEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced it’s ‘Come Clam with Me’ schedule! The dates are as follows:

June 6, 1pm-4pm in North Kingstown
June 21, 1pm-4pm in Bristol
July 19, 12:30pm-3:30pm in Bristol
August 4, 2pm-5pm in North Kingstown
August 19, 1:30pm-4:30pm in North Kingstown
September 17, 1pm-4pm in Warwick

Attached is the flyer and registration form which can be filled out on-line or printed and mailed. CCWM 2016 Registration Form. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED and we ask that you only register for one date (first, second and third choices available). Please include all participants attending. Families with children 8 and older are welcome. An email confirmation with detailed directions will be sent to you once you are officially registered.

If you need further information, please contact Kimberly Sullivan or Jessica Pena at 401-539-0019.

The Aquatic Resource Education program cannot wait for the clamming season to begin!

Thank you,
Kimberly Sullivan
Principal Biologist – Freshwater Fisheries
Aquatic Resource Education Coordinator

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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