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Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 10: aquaculture and our salt ponds.

Do oysters and other shellfish benefit ponds?
Related image
In Charlestown, aquaculture workers clash with
rich, shoreline aqua-NIMBYs
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is yet another example of a program endangered by Donald Trump’s budget. The Sea Grant program which supports this and other scientific research and education is marked for extinction in the Trump budget. –W. Collette

Mark Stolt, a soil scientist at the University of Rhode Island, will discuss research examining whether oyster aquaculture activities benefit ecosystems in southern Rhode Island’s coastal salt ponds.

The talk, free and open to the public, will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Coastal Institute Auditorium on URI’s Bay Campus, 215 South Ferry Road, in Narragansett. The lecture is part of the Coastal State Discussion Series.

Stolt’s work compares sites with aquaculture activities to those without—specifically, Ninigret, Winnapaug and Potter ponds—to help provide guidance for aquaculture regulatory decisions. The research also explores how increased production affects the environment.

“We’re trying to get a picture of what’s happening to these soils as a reflection of the aquaculture that’s going on,” says Stolt, a professor in URI’s Department of Natural Resources. “The ideal is high productivity with no environmental impact.”

The condition of the soils, he says, is indicative of the water quality, tidal fluctuation and how much energy, or food, is coming in.

Jim Turenne, a soil scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, will also talk about statewide efforts to map soils in shallow, sub-tidal environments—the first-of-its-kind project in the country.

Turenne will discuss how this information is not only applicable to aquaculture, but also to other coastal activities, such as restoration projects, dredging and marine spatial planning.

This event is free, and light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Meredith Haas at

For more information, visit.

The Coastal State Discussion Series is dedicated to highlighting current scientific research, finding solutions and building partnerships focused on marine issues that affect coastal communities and environments.

The series is sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant with the support of the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island, the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.