2018 Applied Shellfish Farming Course

It is that time of the year again, when Roger Williams University’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development will be offering our Applied Shellfish Farming course for business start-ups in the region (and beyond). This non-credit course consists of 15 evening lectures (6:30 to 9:00 PM) over the next four months (starting on 16 January – tentative schedule attached) that cover the range of information you may need to help with starting or improving your farm.

The course can be attended in person at the RWU campus in Bristol, RI or on-line through a weekly live webinar-type format available on the Internet. Each class will also be recorded for later viewing, if needed.

The course will be taught by Dale Leavitt, Matt Griffin and Robbie Hudson, with a few outside speakers to cover specialized topics.

The fee for the course fee is $75.00 per attending unit. That means that if you have a few family members, business partners, or associates who will be attending together, they comprise a single unit.

If you plan on attending the course in person, all you have to do is show up on the first night and we will take care of signing you up for the course at that time. If you plan on taking the course via the Internet, please drop a note to “oysters@rwu.edu” and we will get back in touch with you with more details on how to sign up for and tune in to the course.

Happy New Year,


Dale Leavitt
Professor – Marine Biology &
Aquaculture Extension Specialist
Roger Williams University
220 Marine & Natural Sciences
Bristol, RI 02809


Narragansett Bay Recovers from Algal Bloom, Shellfish Safe

By Meredith Haas, January 7, 2017
An unprecedented algal bloom that spanned from Long Island to Maine triggered a shellfishing ban in Narragansett Bay for most of October. After it ended and shellfish beds reopened, fishermen, shellfish farmers, and environmental managers convened at a public meeting in December to try to understand what caused the bloom and what to do about future events.

Monitors found elevated counts of a type of plankton that was responsible for the bloom outside of Newport Harbor at the end of September, said Angelo Liberti, chief of water resources at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), at the meeting held to share information that DEM and the state health department collected during the bloom, and to discuss future monitoring and testing efforts.

Liberti was referring to Pseudo-nitzschia, a genus of plankton that can produce domoic acid, a neurotoxin that, if ingested in dangerous amounts, can cause illnesses ranging from gastrointestinal problems and lethargy to short-term memory loss…..


Webinar—Understanding the 5% Rule for the Coastal Salt Ponds

WEBINAR: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 from 4:00-5:00PM

“Understanding the 5% Rule for the Coastal Salt Ponds” – Participate in this free, interactive Webinar, from your computer at home! Learn from those who were involved in shaping the 5% Rule for aquaculture in Rhode Island’s coastal salt ponds. The rule states that no more than 5 percent of the salt pond area can be used for aquaculture. Hear the details about the science, policy, and decision-making that was involved to set the rule.
Presented by retired URI Professor David Bengston. Prof. Bengston was a member of the working group that convened in 2007 to determine the 5% Rule.

Prof. Bengston will explain the original process with the goal of giving webinar participants a clear understanding of why the rule exists. The intention is to allow an open forum of knowledge and experience sharing so as to be better informed about what the rule is and is not.

The recorded webinar and a summary document will be posted online at:

For more information, please contact Azure@crc.uri.edu