Narragansett Bay

RIPR FILE

The report highlights the importance of headwater streams to the health of the bay. These small bodies of water feed into the bay, and stretch as far north as Worcester, Massachusetts. These feeder streams can be polluted by agriculture and runoff from parking lots and roadways.

Watershed Counts spokeswoman Nicole Rohr said pollution can flow from the streams into the Bay.

Manuel C. Correira

Bristol – There will be floats, bands and puppets, the trill of bagpipes and Sousa marches.

The sailors will step smartly down Hope Street, where the  red, white and blue traffic stripes have  replaced the mundane  yellow strips. The historic harbor is filling with boats, their white sails riffling in the afternoon breeze.

There will be flags, thousands of them. Some will hang from the stately 18th  and 19th century colonials that grace Bristol’s waterfront. The wooly-headed blue hydrangeas sprout from lawns grand and modest.

RIPR file photo

Starting Friday, ferry boats will sail Narragansett Bay, connecting Providence and Newport for the first time since 2009. The high-speed ferry is scheduled to run daily through early September.

Colin F M Smith / Wikimedia Commons

Researchers with the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project say they’re one step closer to determining whether Captain Cook’s famous ship, the Endeavour, lies at the bottom of Newport Harbor.

The historic Endeavour was used for transportation by the British during the American Revolution, and was part of a fleet sent to occupy Newport. In 1778, the ship was part of a group of five intentionally sunk in Newport Harbor to protect the city.

But the ship was renamed the Lord Sandwich before it went to America, said lead researcher Kathy Abbass.

RIPR

Opponents of mandatory HPV vaccinations want the Rhode Island General Assembly to stop requiring the vaccines for all seventh graders. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if  politicians should be allowed to interfere in medical decisions.

John Bender / RIPR

Upper Narragansett Bay is cleaner than it used to be. That’s according to the latest data from the Narragansett Bay Commission.

Robin Angliss / NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to continue to monitor daily the three beluga whales exploring Narragansett Bay. Biologists want to make sure they return safely back to their Arctic habitat.

Three beluga whales spotted in Narragansett Bay are healthy adult males, likely from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. 

(Video courtesy of Matt Jarbeau)

In what Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management chief Janet Coit says is an effort to protect the striper fishery, DEM today filed new regulations for the recreational striped bass fishery for the 2015 fishing season.

The new rules set a bag limit of one striped bass per person per day, at a 28-inch minimum size, down from a daily limit of two fish per person last season. On the commercial side, the regulations will remain the same as last year – five fish per vessel per day, with a 34 inch minimum. But the commercial quota will be reduced by 25 percent.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is among 15 states whose shellfish industry is at long-term economic risk from the effects of ocean acidification. That’s according to new study funded by the National Science Foundation.

RIPR FILE

State legislators have introduced a resolution that would create a special commission to study the effects of ocean acidification on Rhode Island.

The world’s oceans are becoming increasingly acidic from all the carbon dioxide we’re dumping into them. Important habitats and fisheries, like shellfish, are rapidly degrading in many parts of the world due to ocean’s changing chemistry.

Courtesy Save The Bay

Seals from Maine and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada start migrating to Narragansett Bay in October. But February is one of the best months for seal watching in Narragansett Bay. That’s when the number of migrating seals peaks, ranging between 300-500. 

RIPR FILE

A new bill introduced at the general assembly could ban the use of plastic bags across the state.  It’s the latest attempt to ban plastic bags in the last several years.

The bill would gradually phase out the use of plastic bags over the course of two years at retail stores such as grocery, and convenience stores.  Over the past three years similar bills have some received public support, but failed in the General Assembly.  

Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation

Scientists are embarking upon a major campaign to get wild heron back on Rose Island.  Over the last decade the birds have disappeared from the island which sits between Newport and Jamestown in Narragansett Bay. .

Some 300 hundred pair of heron nested on the island until the mid-2000’s.  That number has dwindled to zero. The island’s caretakers think human activity, and environmental changes are to blame.   They’re fundraising to bring the birds back.  Rick Best is a spokesman for the Rhode Island Lighthouse Foundation.

What happens in the deep seafloor, west of Costa Rica, may unlock some mysteries about what happens in Narragansett Bay.

A biology professor at Brown University recently dove in the submersible Alvin, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and owned by the U.S. Navy, to collect samples of microbes from openings in the Pacific sea floor, from where heated water flows. These seafloor openings are known as hydrothermal vents.

Jeremy Rich said he wants to better understand how fast microbes grow here.

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