CRCM Prepares SLAMM for Rhode Island Wetlands

BRISTOL, R.I. — According to Pam Rubinoff, the Senior Coastal Manager of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center, the state has experienced higher tides due to sea level rise.

“Over the past 200 years, Rhode Island has lost over 50 percent of its salt marshes to man-made alterations, resulting in a loss of approximately 4,000 acres statewide,” Rubinoff says. “These valuable habitats have multiple benefits, including commercial and recreational fishing and shoreline protection that will be critically impacted if wetlands disappear.”

All 21 of Rhode Island’s coastal communities will be impacted as sea levels rise in the coming decades. To further planing efforts for these coastal wetlands, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) has developed of  Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) Maps. 

This multi-partner project is a tool for decision makers and resource managers to help plan for ways to save marshes in the future.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is a partnership between the state, U.R.I.’s Graduate School of Oceanography, the National Sea Grant College Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

According to R.I’s Sea Grant, “As of January 13, 2015, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council has adopted proposed amendments to include the SLAMM maps that will aid in developing policy and guidelines, and training local and state decision-makers to protect salt marshes now and in the future.

Caitlin Chaffee is a coastal policy analyst for CRMC.

“What we think is happening, is that with the increase in sea level, areas are getting flooded more frequently, and water is not draining properly,” Chaffee told Sea Grant inOctober. “We’re seeing either existing pools expand, or new ones form, where vegetation has completely died off, and they’re not draining off at low tide … Water on the marsh is really the problem.”

Work continues to be done in order to grasp how R.I.’s salt marshes will be effected by sea level rise in the near future. The hope is to provide protection and care for these precious coastal wetlands.

“There’s Something Special about Rhode Island”

“Whether it’s sailing in Narragansett Bay, hiking in Lincoln Woods, or swimming in one of Rhode Island’s many beautiful beaches, Rhode Island’s natural wonders enrich our lives in countless ways.”

Environment Rhode Island

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BRISTOL, R.I. — There’s something truly special about the state of Rhode Island.At least that’s what Environment Rhode Island believes.

The statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization researches the challenges that The Ocean State faces. Their goal is to raise awareness on environmental issues and to educate the public. Using “research reports, news conferences, interviews with reporters, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, and more” the organization gathers support.

Environment R.I. is taking many actions to combat the impacts of climate change:

 

“What Grows on in Rhode Island?”

BRISTOL, R.I.– With the weather warming up and summer right around the corner, Rhode Island has tons of environmental events planned for the upcoming season.

With the help of What Grows On in Rhode Island, a Providential Gardener Project, it’s easy to see what events “growing on” in or around the area.

What Grows On in Rhode Island offers the most complete list of “green” events and activities happening in the state. Their easy to use calendar is packed with any and all environment-related events happening in RI.

Some of their main categories include:

  • Water
  • Forests, trees
  • Farms, gardens
  • Parks, cemeteries, zoos, golf courses, playgrounds, athletic fields
  • and many, many more!

A wide range of events are posted on What Grows On in RI’s interactive calendar.  It’s easy to use and helpful for making plans. Some of the upcoming events posted include

 

Long Winter Means Sticky Syrup Situation

BRISTOL, R.I. — This past record-breaking winter stuck around long enough to delay maple syrup harvest in Rhode Island, which is a process based highly on the winter.

Usually the trees are ready to be tapped in late February or early March. This year, the cold temperatures and late winter weather decreased syrup production in areas of the Northeast.

New Hampshire’s sugaring season, which typically last about six weeks,  began three weeks later than usual. The state’s 20th annual Maple Weekend took place late into March, before their season had really took off.

For Rhode Island, the tapping season was shortened by the cold temperatures, snow accumulation, and damage to the trees. Even though preparation for the season was hindered, maple syrup producers in the state made deal. Bristol, is one of the many maple syrup producers in the state.

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“Although it was a tough year in some ways, late season was highly productive, so it’s not all bad news,” says Cindy Elder, executive director of the Coggeshall Farm museum in Bristol.
Syrup production has changed in the past ten years.  the As for the future, maple trees in the region could face some problems by the next century. The U.S. Forest Service predicts that they will not be as affluent or even slowly die out. Their studies look at what climate changes are doing to the trees in the long term. Right now maple syrup producers may be doing well, but their success might tap out down the line

R.I. Climate and Health Programs

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BRISTOL, R.I. __ Climate change is mostly thought of as an environmental issue, not a health concern. What some people are overlook are the consequences climate change has on our health.

There’s threats to food and water supplies, allergies brought on by elevated levels of pollen, illness from extreme weather events and increased heat stress from rising temperatures.

To help protect the public’s health The Rhode Island Department of Health has developed a Climate and Health program. Their mission? To predict, monitor, and find out who’s most vulnerable to health effects brought on by climate changes in RI.

The program works together with experts and resources in order to better understand potential climate changes in the state.

Their most recent work is the 2015 Climate Change and Health Resiliency Report.

“It includes valuable tools and diagrams, such a social vulnerability index by census tract and various data projections, such as increases in heat-related emergency department visits over the next 70 years,” says Rhode Island DEM’s Health Director, Dr. Michael Fine. “This report can be used by organizations throughout our state to set priorities and goals together and to outline a path forward toward a safer, healthier Rhode Island.”

The DEM website offers a list of things that people can do to keep themselves healthy and safe as the climate changes.

 

Rhode Island Coastal Wetlands are getting SLAMM’ed

http://www.crmc.ri.gov/maps/maps_slamm/slamm_narragansett.pdf
http://www.crmc.ri.gov/maps/maps_slamm/slamm_narragansett.pdf

BRISTOL, R.I. — How will all 21 of Rhode Island’s coastal communities be effected as sea levels rise in the coming decades? The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) has developed “S.L.A.M.M.” maps to support local community planning efforts and preparation. The project stands for Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model.

Pam Rubinoff, an extension specialist for Rhode Island Sea Grant, says that the model “is a tool for decision makers and resources managers to use in planning how to protect and use marshes in the future when flooding and change becomes an issue.”

The SLAMM maps were generated by using digital wetland coverage obtained from the 2010 National Wetlands Inventory for Rhode Island. The maps demonstrate opportunities for conservation and potential land modification. However, the model does not consider natural processes or coastal storms, which can have an impact on shorelines and sediment dynamics.