Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine

Fall 2015: Water

This issue looks at the various ways we rely on 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.


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

– Features –

Book Review: The Devil’s Cormorant

Book Review: The Devil’s Cormorant

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...

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The Climate Casino | Book Review

The Climate Casino | Book Review

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...

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Brewing Liquor | From Water to Beer

Brewing Liquor | From Water to Beer

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...

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