Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine
This issue features the conflicts and compromises between Rhode Island’s oyster growers and waterfront homeowners, how invasive species are being turned into tasty dishes, and how aging dams pose hidden threats to communities around the state.
Letter From the Editor
Coping with Crisis
We hope this issue of 41°N ﬁnds you well—and still interested in Rhode Island’s ocean and coastal news! It was written before the Covid-19 crisis was fully understood, and as we approached going to press, we wondered how Jennifer Scappatura, the face of our cover story, was faring.
Ellen Liberman followed up with Scappatura in mid-April, and found her, thankfully, still in operation:
“Quonnie Oyster is in a good position because we are small and don’t have all the overhead,” Scappatura said. “Our website will sell our own silkscreen t-shirts/hoodies and other oyster home products, such as platters and shucking knives. In addition, we will be teaching—people need to become familiar with ways to cook oysters and shuck them too. Quonnie Oyster is also adjusting to the pandemic by starting home deliveries grouped with other local land farmers. We are working on a ‘meal-in-a-box’ concept with recipes and a link on our website. We are seeking approvals from the state Department of Health so that we can supply oysters to nonproﬁts that need food, like homeless shelters. This crisis has bonded the farmers and although stressful at times, it has brought us all closer to help each other keep our industry going. Ironically, it’s a great time for local food.”
I want to thank all our writers, photographers, editorial team, and art director for all they do to capture and tell Rhode Island’s ocean and coastal stories. Their efforts are always appreciated, but even more so in this uncertain and difﬁcult time. And I want you, our readers, to know that we are committed to working over the summer to bring you another edition of 41°N in the fall. See you then!
—Monica Allard Cox, Editor
– Features –
Oyster farmers face off against objectors to their expansion plans.
A culinary solution to invasive species.
Warming waters welcome new species further north, changing the landscape.
Antiquated dams are putting Rhode Island cities and towns in peril.
Moby-Dick offers first-hand insights into whale behavior and biology, but also serves as a warning about ignoring climate change.
“Ecological Piers” in Touisset Refuge illustrate environmental change, connect visitors to the landscape, and provide habitat for birds and bees.
Two late-19th century scientists established the first marine labs in Rhode Island. Though the labs were short-lived, their vision has been realized.
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