Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have asked President Obama to share details about his plans to designate areas off the New England coast as a marine national monument.


President Obama wants to permanently protect underwater canyons and sea mountains off the coast of Cape Cod and a mountain chain in the Gulf of Maine. He would do so by using a law presidents have historically used to establish national monuments, such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But his proposal got a mixed reception at a town hall meeting hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Tuesday night.

Hans-Petter Fjeld / Wikimedia Commons

In regional news, the Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon, known as the “king of fish,” is one of eight marine species most at risk for extinction in the near future. The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just announced a new campaign to beef up efforts to help these endangered species survive.

NOAA Fisheries biologist Tara Trinko Lake said the Atlantic salmon were once abundant as far south as Connecticut, but they started to decline in the late 1800s from dams, overfishing, and pollution.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration submits its annual fisheries report to Congress Wednesday. By law (the Magnuson-Stevens Act), NOAA Fisheries must report annually on fish populations within 200 miles of the coast. The agency is also tasked with rebuilding depleted stocks.

Last year, NOAA Fisheries brought two fish species, (considered depleted), back up to healthy levels, and removed several others from the overfishing and overfished lists.

Rhode Island will receive nearly $2 million in relief funds to help fishermen hit by sharp cuts in catch limits.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year when gray and harbor seals come ashore to give birth, but most of the birthing will happen north of us.

For harbor seals, Rhode Island is kind of their Florida. They arrive when the weather gets cold and leave by baseball season. URI emeritus research scientist Robert Kenny said harbor seals then go north to give birth, and there’s a good reason why that won’t happen on Rhode Island’s shores.

Investigating Rhode Island's Tsunami

Jul 9, 2013
Bradley Campbell / RIPR

Scientists are still trying to understand what caused ocean levels across the state to fluctuate last month without warning. The event remains a relative mystery, but a group from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography believes it may have been a tsunami. 

The author H.P. Lovecraft wrote: "But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean." Such is the case in this story. It starts on June 13th, when Chuck Ebersole had a really unusual day. He's a Steward at the Wickford Yacht Club.

Flood Awareness Week in Rhode Island

Mar 20, 2013
Catherine Welch; RIPR

This week is Flood Awareness Week.  The week is a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and encourages New England residents to be vigilant as we enter into our rainier seasons. 

This month marks the third anniversary of the major flooding that hit the Rhode Island, which resulted in damage statewide.

You can learn more about flood safety by visiting