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Recent Salt Ponds-Related Hot Topics
Materials from SPC's 2017 Annual Meeting

At SPC's 2017 Annual Meeting, Bryan Oakley explained how the barrier beaches, and other beaches along the south shore of Rhode Island have changed over the past century.

Bryan Oakley is the creator of the Rhode Island Coastal Erosion Maps that have been created as a part of the R.I. Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan or Beach SAMP. These maps depict the historic rates of shoreline change for coastal management and adaptation planning purposes. The Coastal Resources Management Council will apply these shoreline rates of change to establish setbacks for various activities from coastal features as part of the Coastal Resources Management Program.

To see these maps online click HERE.

To see Bryan's Powerpoint from the Annual Meeting, click HERE.
Salt Pond Animal Life Study

In our Spring 2018 Tidal Pages, we have an article about RI Department of Environemental Management's ongoing biota study focusing on juvenile finfish in the salt ponds.

Since 1994, RIDEM has towed a 130 foot long, 5.5 foot wide 1/4 inch mesh net in semicircles against the shoreline at multiple standardized fixed points in the salt ponds each month from May to October. They carefully count and tabulate the hauls. The method provides a snapshot of biota within the salt pond shallows with a focus on young of the year finfish. While it is not intended to sample adults, shellfish and other species, this systematic sampling has provided as accurate a measure as exists for how life in the ponds varies from month to month and how it has changed over more than two decades.

To see RIDEM's full 2017report, click HERE.

SPC On-line Videos

SPC 30th Anniversary Video
Created by Vic Dvorak
In 2015, SPC celebrated its 30th Anniversary. This video highlights the beauty of the salt ponds, and the work that SPC does as an organization.
Click HERE to watch the video.

Green Hill Pond: Below the Surface
Created by Claire Hodson
Green Hill Pond is located in southern Rhode Island. Despite its visual beauty, Green Hill Pond has been closed to recreational uses such as swimming and shellfishing for over 20 years due to pollution. The Salt Ponds Coalition is looking to educate people about this area and the issues it faces in the hopes of restoring the water quality of Green Hill Pond.
Click HERE to watch the video.

The Canada Goose: An Unexpected Polluter
Created by Claire Hodson
There are two types of Canada geese that can be present in Rhode Island: migratory and resident. In the past few decades, populations of resident Canada geese have been increasing to the point that they are causing significant problems, including nutrient enrichment of water bodies from droppings. SPC along with others are working to ameliorate this issue.
Click HERE to watch the video.

Materials from the R.I. Shellfish Management Plan Education Series

In 2016, the R.I. Shellfish Management Plan and URI hosted a series of three lectures focused on the salt ponds -- specifically their history and the various uses of the ponds.

In case, you missed the lectures, some of the powerpoints were made available. Click the links below to check them out.

Click HERE to see Pam Lyons' powerpoint entitled "Historic Perspectives of Ninigret Pond."

Click HERE to see Dennis Esposito's powerpoint entitled "Competing Rights to our Natural Resources and Privileges to the Shore."

Click HERE to read the online version of Sarah Schumann's book "Rhode Island's Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History."

Click HERE to visit the R.I. Shellfish Manangement Plan's Website for more information about this lecture series and their upcoming events.

Nitrogen Mass Balance for Quonochontaug Pond -
A Preliminary Estimate (2016)

by Edward Callender

Ted Callendar, experienced hydrologist and retired SPC Board Member, is still hard at work studying our salt ponds. He recently wrote an article analyzing the Nitrogen Mass Balance in Quonochontaug Pond. Measuring Nitrogen Mass Balance is important to monitor for potential nutrient loading in the ponds – it quantifies how much nitrogen is entering the ponds versus how much is being absorbed. Click on the links below to read the article and supporting information.

Click HERE to read the article.

Click HERE to see all supprting materials.

2013 SPC Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

The Board of Directors of SPC is pleased to present this 2013 Annual Report.  We are happy to report a very busy and productive year!  Along with completing our 28th year of water quality monitoring, we have been advocating for our ponds at the state and local level, participating in state-wide policy development, partnering with other groups on stewardship projects, hosting many popular outreach events for adults and children, publishing our informative newsletter, and keeping in touch with you electronically.  We go into more detail on all of these important activities in this report.

We have come through the economically turbulent waters in good financial shape, thanks to the ongoing support of our members.  You are all the lifeblood of Salt Ponds Coalition.  Nothing we do is possible without your generous support, and we are deeply appreciative of your continued sponsorship.

Status and Trends Report

Status and Trends

(Note: For best viewing of this report in Adobe Viewer, under the "View" menu and "Page Display" sub-menu, choose "Two Page View" and make sure "Show Cover Page in Two Page View" is checked.)

The most important ingredient needed to evaluate changes in the salt pond habitats is monitoring. This Status and Trends report presents an analysis of the results of the past five years of water quality testing. Changes in the overall water quality are documented. Nutrient enrichment, eutrophication, and bacterial contamination are our major threats to healthy pond ecosystems. The analysis presented here could not be possible without the countless hours of all of our dedicated Pondwatchers.

NALMS LakeLine Article

LakeLine Article

The southern Rhode Island salt ponds, or coastal lagoons, are fascinating and ecologically important places. Last fall, SPC was asked by the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) to write an article describing our wonderful "coastal lakes" for their membership in their quarterly magazine, "LakeLine." SPC Executive Director Elise Torello collaborated with US Fish and Wildlife biologist Rhonda Smith to author the report, which you may view by clicking here. We are happy to have been invited to share information about our ponds with a national audience!

Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan

Superstorm Sandy caused severe erosion along the southern RI coastline. However, erosion issues are not new in our region. With increased storm hazards likely due to climate change and continuing sea level rise, RI Coastal Resources Management Council, along with RI Sea Grant, is developing a Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (also known as the "Beach SAMP"). Salt Ponds Coalition will be very much involved in the development of this SAMP, and we will keep you informed of its progress.

Click here to read RI CRMC's document "CRMC Climate Change Adaptation Actions"

Click here to read an EcoRI article titled "R.I. Coast at Center of Marine Climate Crisis"

CRMC and RI Sea Grant hosted the roll-out meeting for the Beach SAMP on April 4, 2013.  This meeting was very well attended, demonstrating the interest and concern of the public and stakeholders regarding shoreline change issues and sea level rise.  For more information:

* Click here to visit the RI Sea Grant Beach SAMP web page

* Click here to see and hear David Vallee's presentation: Examining the Impacts of Hurricane Sandy on RI:  A serious wake-up call!

* Click here to see and hear Dr. Boothroyd's updated presentation: Coastal Geologic Hazards and Sea-Level Rise: Climate Change in RI

* Click here to see and hear Michelle Carnavale's overview of the Beach SAMP

Economic Tradeoffs in New England Coastal Management

Thanks to the Beach SAMP team, you can watch Dr. Robert Johnston’s February 25th lecture, Economic Tradeoffs in New England Coastal Management, here.

From the Beach SAMP website, "The lecture, which was part of RI Sea Grant’s Coastal State Series, addressed the economic impacts of climate change and explored the challenges of balancing waterfront development with effective protection of coastal ecosystem services and related costs and benefits to management decisions.

Dr. Johnston is a Professor of Economics and the Director for the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University, and former URI Alum where he received his doctorate from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. His research focuses on the economic values and tradeoffs of certain coastal management schemes used throughout New England to mitigate climate change impacts from storms, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise."

Ninigret Cove Groundwater
Study, 2013

Ninigret Cove

During the summer and fall of 2013, Salt Ponds Coalition Vice President and Chair of the Environment Committee Dr. Edward Callender performed a study of nutrients and groundwater. A detailed report on this study may be found by clicking here:

Callender, 2014. Ninigret Cove Groundwater Study 2014- A Pilot Study to Assess the Importance of Shallow Groundwater Discharge of Nutrients into a Coastal Salt Pond Embayment

R.I. Coastal Property Guide

The University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resource Center partnered with the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant to produce a guide for the state’s homeowners and businesses who own coastal property. It provides owners with steps they can take to protect their property from storm flooding and shoreline erosion.

“Rhode Island Coastal Property Guide: What Coastal Property Owners, Renters, Builders and Buyers Should Know About Rhode Island’s Shoreline” is available online here or can be ordered as a hard-copy booklet by emailing beachsamp@etal.uri.edu. The guide includes checklists and information to help readers determine their risks for flooding and erosion and to learn practical ways to protect their property.

The 30-page guide contains information about the unique circumstances – natural and regulatory – that affect property in the coastal zone. The information is provided in 10 sections and covers a range of areas from setbacks to septic systems.

The guide was produced as part of the Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP). Click here to visit the RI Beach SAMP webpage.

Salt Ponds Coalition P.O. Box 875 Charlestown, RI 02813 (401) 322-3068 saltpondscoalition@gmail.com