The URI Coastal Resources Center  and RI Sea Grant, in collaboration with multiple partners, facilitated the creation of the Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan (SMP) for the state. This document provides comprehensive policy guidance regarding management and protection measures for shellfish, such as quahogs and oysters, located in state marine waters. The effort involved multiple state agencies, including the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council, which manages aquaculture leasing, and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM), which manages shellfish in state waters. It also engaged stakeholders in identifying policies and practices to restore shellfish resources and enhance the economic vitality of the shellfishing industry. Begun in January 2013, project leaders worked with the wild harvest, aquaculture, and restoration communities to define priority areas and begin tackling some of these issues and a final draft was presented in November 2014.

In the years following the SMP, URI Coastal Resources Center and RI Sea Grant have been assisting the state in implementing recommendations described in the plan. We have also continued the partnerships forged during the SMP to bolster aquaculture education for prospective growers, helping enhance a long-standing course offered by Dale Leavitt at RWU. We have also provided public education opportunities, from public lectures, webinars, and aquaculture farm tours.  Recognizing many of the tasks described in the SMP need continued momentum and participation from various groups, URI Coastal Resources Center and RI Sea Grant have helped to facilitate the RI Shellfish Initiative, an award-winning publication on shellfish heritage, and a “Lessons Learned” video production for other states to follow.

View the document here

RI SMP Project Partners:

RI Department of Environmental Management
RI Department of Health
RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program
Roger Williams University
URI Coastal Resources Center
URI Coastal Institute

RI SMP Project Funders

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Rhode Island Foundation,
Prospect Hill Foundation,
Sharpe Family Foundation/Henry and Peggy Sharpe,
van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

RI SMP Coordinating Team

Jennifer McCann, Director of U.S. Coastal Programs, URI Coastal Resources Center
Azure Cygler, Fisheries & Aquaculture Extension, URI Coastal Resources Center / Rhode Island Sea Grant
Dale Leavitt, Associate Professor, Roger Williams University
Ken Ayars, Chief, Division of Agriculture, RI Department of Environmental Management
Cathy White, Department of Health
Bryan DeAngelis, The Nature Conservancy
Mike McGiveney, President, Rhode Island Shellfishermen’s Association
Lou Fratterelli, Shellfisherman, East Bay
Robert Rheault, President, East Coast Shellfish Grower’s Association
Dave Beutel, Aquaculture Coordinator, RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Jason McNamee, Deputy Chief, Fish & Wildlife, RI Department of Environmental Management
Roger Tellier, Rhode Island Salt Water Angler’s Association

Primary Contacts

Jennifer McCann
Director of U.S. Coastal Programs, URI Coastal Resources Center
Director of Extension Programs, Rhode Island Sea Grant
Tel: (401) 874-6127
Fax: (401) 874-6920
E-mail: mccann@crc.uri.edu

Azure Cygler
Fisheries Extension Specialist, URI Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant
Tel: (401) 874-6197
Fax: (401) 874-6920
E-mail: azure@crc.uri.edu