Summer 2016

Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine


Welcome to 41°N, Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine, a publication of Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island.  This biannual magazine examines climate change, marine commerce and recreation, ecology and habitats, ocean planning, and the history of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine landscape.


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From the Editor


So said one of  Sea  Grants  founders, John  Knauss, then-University of Rhode Island vice president for marine programs, in 1985, as he hosted a nationwide gathering of Sea Grant programs in Newport.

Conference speakers were frank in describing the challenges to a pro- gram that began in just four states in 1966. Universities, home to these new programs, had not known quite what to do with them. A nascent international Sea Grant program had been phased out. The Reagan Administration annually attempted to cut Sea Grant from the federal budget.

More happily, speakers noted that Sea Grant’s marine research, uniquely at that time, had to pass muster with peer reviewers and users alike. Its outreach programs were demonstrating value to government agencies and constituents, and revenue from projects nationwide was estimated at $62 million.

Speakers also identified possibilities for Sea Grant in new technologies, policy developments—including the adoption of the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for federal waters—and areas such as aquaculture.

Those emerging opportunities have unfolded here in Rhode Island, and Rhode Island Sea Grant has been involved—in ocean planning in the EEZ, leading to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, in research and extension efforts in aquaculture, which reached a record $5.6 million value in 2015, and in funding projects using the latest seafloor mapping capabilities, which have led to new discoveries, most recently of Rhode Island’s largest ship graveyard (see page 14).

This year, Newport will again host a Sea Grant conference, marking the program’s 50th anniversary. It will be attended by members from the national office, the 33 state programs around the U.S.—and South Korea Sea Grant. We have indeed come a long way.


Write us Please write to Letters, 41°N Editorial Office, Rhode Island Sea Grant, URI Bay Campus, Narragansett, RI 02882, or email



Artificial Reef | The art and science of shellfish restoration in the Providence River
by Mary Grady
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Oakland Beach | Building a new reputation
by Jerry O’Brien
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Tell Me a Story | Landscape architecture students take on Oakland Beach
by Keegan Glennon
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One Man’s Treasure | Uncovering Rhode Island’s largest ship graveyard
by Meredith Haas
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Mike Keyworth | A one-man wake-up call
by Elaine Lembo
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New Hope for Urban Waterways
by Hugh Markey
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Reviving Rhode Island’s Urban Coast 
by Hugh Markey
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The Melting Pot | Immigrants bring new approach to Rhode Island seafood
by Sarah Schumann
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Book Review: The Narrow Edge 
by Hugh Markey

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