Winter 2015

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


Hoboken, N.J., has come a long way since it was struck by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The city—at a square mile, similar in size to Central Falls—saw 20,000 of its 50,000 residents stranded by rising water during the storm, and its subway famously flooded.

Hoboken’s city manager, Stephen Marks, spoke at “Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Business to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms,” the 2014 Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, about measures the city is taking to deal with future storms—including installing flooding pumps, designing parks and playgrounds to hold stormwater, and creating a “community emergency response team” of volunteers who can deliver food, water, and medicines to stranded neighbors. These actions are part of the city’s ambitious nine-point resiliency strategy that includes infrastructure, outreach, and zoning efforts.

Other symposium speakers talked about actions being taken in Rhode Island, from adding resiliency to existing buildings, such as by installing floodwalls, to reimaging existing coastal businesses that were devastated by Sandy, and rebuilding them in different ways—for instance, turning a café into a mobile operation that can be moved from its shoreline location in the event of a storm.

This issue of 41°N looks at coastal resiliency in Rhode Island and elsewhere, and what the issues are in protecting property ranging from ports to private residences.


Cover photo taken on October 30, 2012, a parking lot full of yellow cabs in Hoboken is flooded as a result of Superstorm Sandy. © AP Photo/Charles Sykes


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



Preparing Ports to Ride Out the Storm
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Precarious Position | Coastal Real Estate a “Risky” Investment
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Taking on Coastal Erosion in the Less-Developed World
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Nature or Nurture for Sandy-Damaged Shorelines
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41_mapMapping out a Future
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Sea Level Rise and Salt Marsh Migration
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Quintessential Quahogs
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Sacred Symbol
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The Word is Surge
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