Rhode Island’s Ocean and Coastal Magazine

Summer 2016: Urban

This issue looks at the urban landscape of Rhode Island’s coast. 


From the Editor


So said one of Sea Grantfounders, 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 program 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

– Features –

Book Review: The Narrow Edge

    If Tierra del Fuego isn’t the end of the earth, it’s pretty close. The desolate landscape that comprises the southernmost tip of South America has no ports for visiting cruise ships; there are no tourist areas with merchants selling their...

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Reviving Rhode Island’s Urban Coast

FOR  200 YEARS, MUCH OF RHODE ISLAND'S URBAN waterfront was the realm of industry. Manufacturing plants, shipping ports, and acres of “tank farms”—land dotted with massive oil tanks—lined the shores of upper Narragansett Bay. During that time, little consideration was...

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New Hope for Urban Waterways

A 10-FOOT ALUMINUM BOAT SLIDES OUT OF ITS  dock at the Narragansett Boat Club and onto the Seekonk River. Nestled in the rocks below the surface is a large population of mussels and oysters. The December skies hold a mixture of sun and clouds, and the air is brisk...

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The One-Man Wake-Up Call

ON A GRAY, DANK DAY IN EARLY DECEMBER, THE office of Mike Keyworth at Brewer Cove Haven Marina in Barrington is an inviting retreat. Outside, it’s all hustle and hurry. Power and sailboats are being winterized, the shrink wrap’s coming on, the lift that moves them...

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Oakland Beach | Building a New Reputation

HILDA AND NORMAN POPPE HAVE A ROUTINE FOR lunch on Tuesdays. They head to Oakland Beach, order chowder and clam cakes from a favorite take-out window, and sit at a picnic table facing Greenwich Bay. Longtime Warwick residents, the couple delights in the relaxing...

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