Aquaculture has a long history in Rhode Island. In the early 1900s, oyster culture generated the equivalent—in today’s dollars—of $50 million to $90 million in revenue. But by mid-century, pollution, political problems, turf conflicts between aquaculture lease holders and capture fisheries, and natural disasters—notably, the hurricane of 1938—had decimated the state’s aquaculture industry. Limited growing space and intensive competition for coastal access have hindered reestablishment of the industry over the years. Conflicts stemming from multiple uses of aquatic resources along an increasingly crowded coastline have thwarted accommodation of still more demands on coastal areas.
Yet despite these restrictions, aquaculture is experiencing resurgent growth in Rhode Island, with shellfish culture dominating marketplace activity. Much of the state’s production is based in Rhode Island’s south shore salt ponds—coastal lagoons whose exceptional productivity promotes fast growth and excellent flavor. Excellent water quality in areas of Narragansett Bay and in Block Island and Rhode Island sounds also contributes to a consistently high-caliber product. The superb quality of Rhode Island’s aquaculture products assures premium prices, boosting the value of the state’s aquaculture. Source: Rhode Island Aquaculture Initiative – A Shared Vision for the Future
The New Urban Farmers is a non-profit organization that has set out to preserve and restore our environment by creating sustainable agricultural systems in the city. We work to increase healthy food access and nurture minds in the cities of Pawtucket, Central Falls and surrounding areas by eliminating barriers to healthy food and empowering low-income individuals, families, and at-risk-youth with education and collaboration. We believe a community that grows together, grows together.