The Rhode Island Foundation has announced the winners for this year’s innovation fellowships.  The program is aimed at sparking new ideas for the state. The award comes with a $300,000 grant.

This year’s two winners include John Haley, a scientist specializing in marine fisheries.  He’s working on a product to improve mussel aquaculture.  It’s a kind of cord that’s “pre-loaded” with mussel larvae to speed up the cultivation time for mussel farmers.

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.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Environmental Reporter, Ambar Espinoza will host a public forum and conversation on the changing fisheries in Narragansett Bay.

This forum will be broadcast live on Thursday, October 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Rhode Island Public Radio: 88.1 FM/102.7 FM/91.5 FM and RIPR.ORG.

Vincent J. Mesolella has been reelected chairman of the board of commissioners of the Narragansett Bay Commission, the agency that runs sewage treatment facilities in metropolitan Providence communities.

Mesolella, who has been chairman of 19-member commission since the 1990s, was reelected unanimously at a commission meeting yesterday, said Jamie Samons, the commission’s public affairs officer.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Starting today, the Narragansett Bay Commission will temporarily close a tunnel that’s part of a long-term, massive project designed to meet the federal clean water act. During heavy rains, that tunnel normally stores overflows of sewer and street runoff that are later treated and released into Narragansett Bay. Now the tunnel will be offline for the next three to four weeks.

Rhode Island's Aquaculture Industry Continues to Grow

Apr 25, 2013

Aquaculture, the practice of farming fish and shellfish in the sea, is doing well in the Ocean State.

The good news for aquaculture farmers is the industry is growing. The Coastal Resources Management Council says the number of aquaculture farms increased in the last year from 43 to 50.  The industry contributes 105 jobs to the local economy. CRMC’s David Beutel said the industry is healthy and will be able to adapt to climate change.

“That will be a change to our industry," he said. "But that is something that will be more easily handled.”

DEM Looking into Narragansett Bay Pollution

Feb 27, 2013

Shell fishermen are banned from fishing in the Upper Narragansett Bay. The Department of Environmental Management has found high levels of bacteria in the water.

DEM’s Chief of Surface Water Protection, Angelo Liberti, says it’s due to a portion of the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment plant in East Providence being taken offline. "And with the last rain event, they had some trouble balancing their treatment flow through their system which resulted in the release of partially treated wastewater.”

Shellfishing Area Closed

Feb 26, 2013

A Rhode Island shell fishing area is closed.  The Conimicut Triangle and Area A of the upper Narragansett Bay is closed because of discharge from a waste water treatment plant in East Providence.

The Department of Environmental Protection says the discharge had elevated fecal coliform levels.

The waters will be closed to shell fishing until sunrise Tuesday March 5th.  

The DEM says the Bucklin Point Waste Water Treatment Facility is working with the Department staff to meet stricter discharge limits.

All you need to know about the Shellfish Management Plan

Feb 3, 2013

The state is creating its first ever statewide Shellfish Management Plan. It's seeking advice on the plan from people involved in aquaculture, fishing and restoration. But why does the state think such a plan is critical for the species to thrive?

Protecting RI shellfish

Jan 24, 2013

Shellfish restoration is the topic at a meeting Thursday at the University of Rhode Island. The state wants input on how best to protect shellfish in coastal ponds and Narragansett Bay.
The Director of the US Coastal Program at URI’s Coastal Resource Center, Jen McCann, says the state has so far heard about two main concerns…
“What is the regulatory process to move forward with restoration? And also, where are the appropriate sites to do restoration in the bay and also the salt ponds so within state waters.”

Shellfish management plan to emphasize aquaculture

Jan 16, 2013

(PROVIDENCE, RI) The state is continuing to work on a new shellfish management plan. Aquaculture is one area of concern for state regulators and shellfish harvesters.

State seeks input for new shellfish management plan

Jan 7, 2013

The state is meeting with local shellfish harvesters this evening at the University of Rhode Island.  The state is working to craft a new shellfish management plan to protect the vital resource.