On behalf of the SMP Team, we’d like to thank you for a successful and fun Final Event Celebration!
On Nov.17th, many gathered at the URI Bay Campus to celebrate the newly-released R.I. Shellfish Management Plan (affectionately called the SMP), a hallmark effort to improve management and science around shellfish in the state. With over 100 people in attendance, including Governor Lincoln Chafee, Senator Sosnowski, and dignitaries from our state agencies and universities, as well as the valuable presence of industry groups and citizens alike, it was an event to remember. The event was intended to be celebratory, to appreciate the monumental efforts of many individuals and groups who shaped the plan and its management and science recommendations. Good vibes and words were shared by all.
But one thing was missing from the festivities: A proper thank you to a few individuals who really were the glue behind the SMP. Unfortunately, in an attempt to keep comments brief and allow plenty of time to mingle and share kind words, we did not properly acknowledge these few individuals – As a backdrop, it is important to emphasize that behind the scenes, almost weekly for the last two years, have been five people who have helped sort through what we hear, what issues arise, what needs surface, and what actions should be taken. These individuals were Dale Leavitt (RWU), Jeff Mercer (DEM), Dave Beutel (CRMC), Monique LaFrance (GSO) and Jen McCann (CRC/RI SG). What some may not realize, which I want to impress upon you all now, is that without these folks, the SMP and all its early successes would not have happened.
It was Dale’s knowledge, experience and ability to see opportunity in any concern or issue that helped bring this SMP to life, infusing science and real-world application which lent validity, perspective, and integrity to the process and outcomes. Jeff has offered intense time and efforts on the SMP, showing industry that DEM has been listening and translating tough policies and decisions.—Jeff’s ability to work across multiple sectors of the shellfish community has brought tangible benefits to management and science.—Dave’s thoroughness in assuring a sound aquaculture management process in this state in conjunction with his belief and willingness to reach over agency lines to collaborate on important topics, has proven fruitful; Dave has been a steady island in a sea of positive changes for aquaculture, keeping people on firm ground during tough processes.—Monique’s integral efforts throughout the SMP on work such as the use maps and critical writing, has helped ensure the outcomes make sense and are tractable. And it is through Jen’s support and sound leadership that the SMP process remained true to its principles and vision of openness and broad stakeholder involvement.
And a special thank you to those in the industry – wild harvest and aquaculture – who continue to donate their time and experience to not only the SMP process, but to management overall, lending real-world knowledge and creative thinking to make this a truly democratic process.
At the event, a few individuals were recognized and received awards for giving 110% to the SMP process. Congratulations to: Mike McGiveney, Robert Rheault, Jody King, Katie Eagan, Art Ganz, Jim Arnoux, and the Rhode Island Shellfishermen’s Association for their exceptional service and contribution to shellfish.
And shout outs to all the many who made this Plan possible – THANK YOU!
Without all these folks meeting and giving their hearts and souls these last two years, we would simply be where we started in 2013: Wanting reform but with no road to get there. So thank you SMP Team – Your energy and skills are invaluable to this state!
Please visit http://www.rismp.org/the-plan/ to view the RI Shellfish Management Plan, Version II, and associated appendices. Please remember this is a living document and we encourage your feedback and comments. In 2015, CRC/RI Sea Grant will work with DEM and CRMC to develop an Implementation Plan, a Research Agenda, and activate on some of the recommendations in the SMP. We will also review and add new information to the SMP as it becomes available and will keep you updated through this listserv. Press and the SMP video will soon be posted on the website, so check back often.
Other information on the website:
If you would like to receive a copy of Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History, available in 2015, please send an email to: email@example.com
Keep up the excellent work and dedication everyone – We look forward to working with you in 2015!