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University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Program

The Rhode Island Sea Grant Program is a federal-state-university partnership, based at the University of Rhode Island, which designs and supports research, outreach, and education programs that foster coastal and marine stewardship. The Program focuses its efforts in two core thematic areas: Sustainable Coastal Communities & Ecosystems (SUCCESS) and Sustainable Fisheries. The SUCCESS Extension Program works to assist coastal communities with natural disaster preparedness, to help urban communities manage their coastal resources, and aid in the development of coastal and waterfront smart growth principles. The Sustainable Fisheries Extension Program conducts applied research on fisheries issues, engages stakeholders in fisheries management, and creates a neutral platform for discussing innovative fisheries management ideas. In addition to its Extension efforts, Sea Grant supports adult learning, as well as graduate and undergraduate education opportunities.

The Sea Grant Program has also contributed to a major success story in the cod and haddock fisheries. Research sponsored by the two programs led to the development of the Eliminator Trawl—new gear that is extremely effective at reducing bycatch of cod, a fishery that has been overharvested, while allowing the capture of haddock, a recovered fishery. Use of the Eliminator Trawl nets has become widespread, boosting Northeast fishery economics by opening previously closed haddock areas and allowing further recovery of the cod fishery.

Coming up in February: the Inner Space Center will open its door to the public to explore the latest deep-sea explorations, including ancient shipwreck artifacts from previous expeditions, and listen in as scientists make their next discoveries. This 45-minute tour of the Inner Space Center is designed for members of the public. The Inner Space Center is an international hub for ocean science exploration and education. These tours are offered on the first Tuesday of each month.  The cost is $5 per participant.  Space is limited to 20 people and reservations are required.

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