CRC a Key Partner in New USAID Project for Madagascar

CRC recently received the great news that a new USAID project in Madagascar has been given the green light.

The project, titled Hay Tao (or “know-how” in Malagasy), will focus on natural resource management and involve several partners, including the World Resources Institute and Blue Ventures, with whom CRC currently collaborates in Madagascar on capacity development for managers of locally managed marine areas. A lagoon in Madagascar

Hay Tao’s lead is Pact, a nonprofit international development organization that works around the world to improve the lives of those challenged by poverty and marginalization. CRC will lead the efforts that focus on coastal communities and marine protected areas. This project will draw on the Center’s more than two decades of similar experience in the Western Indian Ocean region.

The project announcement was made on World Wildlife Day.  According to USAID: “Hay Tao is the largest U.S. environmental investment in Madagascar in nearly a decade and represents the U.S. government’s strong commitment to preserving Madagascar’s unique environmental heritage.” The press release from USAID continues: “Hay Tao, a five-year activity valued at $23 million USD, will be one of two major activities under a Conservation and Communities Project (CCP) operated by USAID. CCP will focus on strengthening and empowering local communities to lead the way on managing nearby natural resources ‘from reefs to rainforests to regulators.’”

Webinar-How to Harvest Your Own Clams in Rhode Island

Tuesday, March 27th
Click the below link to join:

Brush Up Those Clamming Skills: Ready yourself for summer by joining URI Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant sustainable seafood specialist Azure Cygler and local quahogging legend Jody King for a webinar. King, host of a state-sponsored “Come Clam With Me” summer program for the public, will share the basics of recreational clamming – from where to go and what to bring, to tools of the trade and tips for delicious clam dishes.

The webinar is a program of the Rhode Island Shellfish Initiative. The Initiative “honors the legacy and vital role shellfish play in supporting our environment, families, traditions, and economy. Through a partnership of government, business, academia, and community, the Initiative will strengthen our state’s shellfish management practices and promote growth and innovation within out local seafood industry. Visit the Initiative at or email/call Cygler at or 401-874-6197.

Happy International Women’s Day! Bonne Journée internationale de la femme!

CRC salutes women on our team around the world!

Clockwise from upper left:
Kim Kaine in Tanzania with the State Department Pearl Group. Kim takes care of administrative and financial tasks for the CRC’s International team and centerwide including facilitating CRC’s International Student and Visiting scholar Ambassador Program as well as facilitating logistics for CRC’s International training events (workshops, study tours and meetings) in the US.
Khady Sané is the Chief of Party for COMFISH Plus in Senegal. Under her leadership, the implementation of Collaborative  fisheries Management through the strengthening of the main local governance body for fisheries – the Local Council for Artisanal Fishing  – has become an experience that is beginning to revolutionize the fisheries sector in Senegal.
Cathy Dwyer, Events and Logistics Specialist, representing CRC at the Graduate School of Oceanography Open House: Ocean Sciences for the Ocean State.
Cindy Moreau and Debbie Antwi, finance office from the Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA).  As a part of Cindy’s role as International Portfolio Coordinator this is on a site visit to CEWEFIA in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Azure Cygler is a fisheries extension specialist for RI SeaGrant and CRC, working on the RI shellfish management plan, the first of its kind in the state.
Karen Kent, Senior Coastal Manager, celebrates that the Gambia sole Fishery Improvement Plan (FIP) is on-line and joining other FIPs on a global platform to track progress and engage investors in supporting sustainably managed fisheries, especially small scale developing country fisheries.

Ghana Celebrates Independence Day

Wood Carving of Ghana Fishing Canoe

On its Independence Day, we celebrate our Ghanaian partners in their accomplishments over the last 61 years.  We look forward to continue working with them on ongoing challenges for food security, such as developing a sustainable fishery and managing the Fall Armyworm infestation regionally.

Here are some links to recent efforts:

Fisheries and Food Security: A briefing from the USAID/Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project, January 2018:

Issue Brief: Ghana’s Small Pelagic Fishery in Crisis, National and Regional Food Security at Risk:

Regional efforts on the Fall Armyworm:

Working with Local Schools

A new project between the University of Rhode Island (URI) – with the URI
Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant as partners — and
Westerly High School is focused on encouraging students, and by extension,
their families and school community, to assess how well prepared they are
to weather emergencies, such as hurricanes, or the longer-term change that
comes from sea level rise.

This month, ninth and tenth graders at Westerly High
School are making use of a new online program so they can assess their
readiness for themselves. The information will help URI researchers learn
more about behavior change in terms of emergency preparedness and better
gauge which tools best support this change.

PREP-RI Team Wins RI APA Award

PREP-RI team
PREP-RI team

CRC staff and students, along with partners, who participated in the creation of PREP-RI  – Providing Resilience Planning in Rhode Island — are all smiles as the online education program, a six-module series regarding how to prepare for flooding and erosion tied to strong storms and sea level rise, is a 2017 recipient of a American Planning Association/Rhode Island Chapter Award for Current Topic.

PREP-RI ( is an online education program representing a critical step forward for Rhode Island coastal preparedness and resiliency planning. The program answers the request of coastal community officials, decision-makers and others engaged in public policy for community resilience education. It also serves as a program to address recently passed state legislation requiring planning boards and commissions to have training on sea rise and flooding.  The education is necessary so this targeted audience can implement wise, science-informed policies and practices to address the impacts of flooding from rising seas and more intense storms, key aspects of climate change. Significantly, it marks the first time that the Rhode Island Legislature has funded a University of Rhode Island (URI) based effort to address pressing public planning needs concerning resiliency education and training. PREP-RI is tailored to the needs of its decision-maker audience; it respects and builds upon the solid core of state and local expertise in coastal community adaptation policy and practice, and has been designed as an online Rhode Island based experience that enables participants to engage on their own schedules. The program, was launched as a pilot in June 2017, and is now the subject of an outreach effort focused on providing training to Rhode Island’s communities, with an initial focus on the 21 coastal communities. Positive feedback from users reflect its practical approach, keen interest in local examples, accessibility in language and brevity, and its online availability.  PREP-RI is part of a package of tools that is being used for a companion face-to-face component designed to help municipalities incorporate resiliency information into local planning initiatives. PREP-RI has had the effect of building momentum within the Rhode Island coastal community planning arena for additional resiliency education and training; it also supports State initiatives to incorporate climate change in Comprehensive Plans, engage agencies in the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Committee, and develop a statewide Resilience Strategy, as shared recently in the Governor’s Executive Order.

Walsh to Lead Center


Portrait of J.P. Walsh
CRC Director, Dr. J.P. Walsh

CRC is pleased to announce that in January Dr. J.P. Walsh will take the helm as the Center’s new director. Dr. Walsh, a coastal geoscientist, comes to URI after serving as Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at East Carolina University (ECU), where he also was a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy and the Co-Program Head of Coastal Processes at the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute. His work explores how sedimentation and marine processes affect the coast and its resources. It has been shared with researchers, students, and community audiences around the world, most recently in France as part of a Fulbright scholarship. Dr. Walsh looks forward to bringing these same interests to CRC’s expertise in coastal management policy and practice.  “My hope,” says Dr. Walsh, is that “the blending of my work with CRC’s talents and experience will yield benefits for coastal communities in Rhode Island and around the globe.”


In addition to his role as CRC Director, Dr. Walsh will conduct research and teach at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

Changes in Narragansett Bay: A Conversation Among Citizens and Scientists-December 6, 2017

In partnership with Graduate School of Oceanography and Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Coastal Resources Center will be facilitating this year’s Baird Symposium.
The purpose of this free, one-day event is to provide Narragansett Bay users, regulators, and scientists an opportunity to discuss the ecological and environmental changes they have seen in the bay and to share information about why these changes are taking place. The results from this event will inform Sea Grant’s research agenda as well as the state’s developing Narragansett Bay Special Area Management Plan (Bay SAMP).

Please visit the event webpage for more information.

Southern New England Offshore Wind Energy Science Forum, December 11-12

REGISTER NOW for the Southern New England Offshore Wind Energy Science Forum

This event will examine these major questions:
What have we learned from the Block Island Wind Farm research?
What relevant information do we know for the Southern New England region?
How do we apply what we have learned to future development?
Join us for dialogue that explores stakeholders’ questions.

Visit the event link at  the project page and sign up at registration link..

International Students Arrive at URI

Faculty and staff at the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) welcomed 13 international graduate students to URI and Rhode Island last week with a potluck dinner social.

These master’s- and Ph.D.-degree candidates hail from Eritrea, Ghana, Indonesia, and Malawi. They’ll be furthering their studies at URI’s College of Environmental and Life Sciences and Graduate School of Oceanography with financial support from USAID/Ghana’s Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), USAID FISH Project in Malawi, and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Through CRC’s Ambassador Program, the students are receiving logistical support for living in New England, and have been adopted by a new family of friends and well-wishers.