Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine
Fall 2015: Water
From the Editor
A century has passed since residents of several villages in Scituate, Rhode Island, received notices that their properties were being condemned, and would be flooded, in order to create the Scituate Reservoir, a water supply that would provide for the needs of 60 percent of the state’s population.
Author Maury Klein chronicles both the heartbreak of the families who lost homes, farms, businesses, and even family graves, as well as the pressing need to provide residents with a safe, adequate water supply.
Today, as Hugh Markey writes, the prospect of altering the flow of water in Rhode Island’s rivers by removing decrepit dams evokes a visceral response from neighbors, who have strong connections to the ponds that these dams created decades, even centuries, ago. Though restoring river habitats and fish runs would provide ecological benefits, people have keen feelings about the waters they consider theirs.
This issue of 41°N considers water in some of the many ways it permeates our lives—as supplying a fundamental need for all living things, as a conduit for international trade, as a source of refreshment and recreation, and even as the hidden essence of a millennia-old fermented beverage.
Drink it in, and as always, please let us know what you think.
—MONICA ALLARD COX, Editor
Please write to Letters, 41°N Editorial Office, Rhode Island Sea Grant, URI Bay Campus, Narragansett, RI 02882, or email 41N@gso.uri.edu.
– Features –
As Rhode Island prepares for sea levels to rise three to five feet or more, as well as for more frequent and intense storms due to climate change, the state should anticipate a looming consumer rights issue. Rhode Island’s coasts are home to many intergenerational...read more
The cormorant’s reputation is, if nothing else, complicated. They are revered in Japan, where fishermen have used the birds under imperial protection for hundreds of years. They are reviled in Henderson Harbor, N.Y., where locals are certain the birds are responsible...read more
Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World By William Nordhaus The year 2015 is a critical year for climate change policy. Leaders, negotiators, nonprofits, and other stakeholders from most nations in the world will gather in Paris for the United Nations...read more
“More than any other food, oysters taste like the place they come from,” writes author Rowan Jacobson in his connoisseur’s guide Geography of Oysters. “While they are creatures of the sea, they draw their unique characteristics from the land and how it affects their...read more
Beach closures are declining across Narragansett Bay, a trend that shows pollution-control measures are working. But is more testing needed to ensure beaches are truly safe? In 2014, beach closures in Rhode Island hit a record low of 52 days, down from a high of 503...read more
When brewing beer, there are four basic ingredients that are essential: water, malt (or cereal grain), yeast and hops. Modern conveniences have made obtaining these four ingredients wonderfully easy. All one has to do is go online and hundreds of types of malts and...read more
The Scituate Reservoir supplies 60 percent of the state's water, but was created by displacing families and neighborhoods. Although she lived to be 94, "Gramma" Helen O. Larson never forgot her roots in a small village that ceased to exist when she was still a child....read more
The cobblestones that line the historic thoroughfare that is Thames Street in downtown Newport, Rhode Island, are remnants of the city’s seafaring past. Some were once used as ballast to stabilize large, seafaring vessels from Europe in the 1700s and 1800s, and today...read more
For the hardy souls who survived the brutal winters of colonial New England, there was only one choice: tame the new land. Build farms, mills, and factories that would feed families and ensure that investors back in England would be repaid for the cost of sending...read more
Like detectives following leads, fishermen follow sea temperatures. The rise and fall of the ocean’s warmth offer clues to where fish hide. But rising average sea temperatures have made tracking and catching fish more complex. “Climate change is real, and it is real...read more