Restoration & Enhancement
Shellfish restoration is an important way of improving ecological health and enhancing shellfish populations. In Narragansett Bay and the south shore salt ponds, local, state, and federal agencies, as well as environmental organizations, are investing in restoring habitat, including oyster reefs, marshes, and seagrass beds, as well as the shellfish populations themselves, such as quahogs, oysters, and scallops. Programs that pair school children, volunteers, and community groups with restoration efforts add an element of education and public investment.
The SMP scoping sessions have identified the needs to:
- Increase coordination between state and federal agencies to help clarify the regulatory process and to facilitate data collection
- Increase enforcement on land and water to respond to regulations
- Explore allowing shellfish restoration in prohibited waters to improve water quality
MapCoast – An effort to map, inventory, describe, and classify coastal soils and sediments in Rhode Island.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – Information on Rhode Island soils mapping, including freshwater and coastal zone mapping.
Oyster Gardening for Restoration and Enhancement, Roger Williams University – Using seed grown at Roger William hatchery in Bristol, this program utilizes volunteers and schools to plant oysters and grow oyster reefs for restoration purposes.
Best Management Practices for Shellfish Restoration by Dorothy Leonard & Sandra Macfarlane, ISSC Shellfish Restoration Committee (2011). This paper has a general, nation-wide approach to shellfish management and restoration, stating that the decline of shellfish abundance coupled with compromised water quality spurred the project. The objectives of the project were to establish best management practices including protocols for educational programs, and safeguards to ensure that shellfish are raised in approved waters.
Mapping Shallow Coastal Ecosystems: A Case Study of a Rhode Island Lagoon by M. Stolt, et al., Coastal Education and Research Foundation (2011). This paper presents a systematic approach to mapping Rhode Island’s shallow subtidal coastal lagoon ecosystems. Multiple data sets were integrated and reconciled with one another to identify the geology, soils, biological communities, and environments that, together, define different shallow-subtidal habitat. They present their data from Quonochontaug Pond, Rhode Island as an example of these protocols and procedures in action.
For a list of all resources and references, please Resources page.