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Grants fund work on shoreline, shellfishing protection
By Chris Barnett / October 7, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded $125,000 in grants to fund work on shoreline protection and the shellfish industry by the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography. The funds will be administered by the University of Rhode Island Foundation.

“These projects focus on the smart, long-term management and protection of our coastline and our aquatic natural resources. Both initiatives are coordinated, multi-stakeholder approaches that position Rhode Island to prepare for a changing coastline and enhance shellfish resources for the benefit of the state’s economy, environment and quality of place,” said Jenny Pereira, the Foundation’s grants program officer for the environmental sector.

A $75,000 grant will fund work on the Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP), which will improve coastal resiliency to erosion and flooding caused by storms or sea level rise by collecting new data and developing effective policies. The project‘s goal is to identify where and how the shoreline is changing and develop new, and improve existing, state shoreline erosion and inundation policies while providing practical guidance for communities adapting to shoreline change.

The remaining $50,000 will fund the second year of the R.I. Shellfish Management Plan, which will provide comprehensive policy guidance regarding state management and protection measures for shellfish resources, such as bay quahogs and oysters, in state ocean waters. The effort involves multiple state agencies and engages public, private, academic, and community  stakeholders in identifying policies and practices that can support government, private, and community efforts to enhance the economic vitality of the shell fishing industry and its ocean-based resources.

The Foundation looked to several pools of funding in making the grants including $25,000 from the donor-advised Spartina Fund.

“These gifts from the Rhode Island Foundation address the very things people think of when they hear the words Ocean State: the bounty of our waters and the integrity of our coastline,” said URI Foundation President Michael J. Smith.

Beach SAMP is a collaborative effort between the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), the CRC, R.I. Sea Grant, R.I. Geological Survey, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences. The other funders include the R.I. Bays, Rivers and Watersheds Coordination Team, URI Coastal Institute and R.I. Sea Grant.

The Shellfish Management Plan is a partnership between the Coastal Management Institute at the CRC, the R.I. Sea Grant, state Department of Environmental Management, and the CRMC. The other funders include the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, the Sharpe Family Foundation and the Prospect Hill Foundation.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit www.rifoundation.org.

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