DEM’s Sullivan receives Environmental Education Award
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recognized Kimberly Sullivan, Aquatic Resource Education Coordinator of the Division of Fish & Wildlife, last month for receiving the Environmental Education Award from the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA). DEM Director Janet Coit nominated Kimberly and presented her with the award during RIEEA’s annual event at Rhode Island College.
Janet Coit said, “Kimberly reaches thousands of Rhode Islanders connecting them with the wonders of nature. Through her Traveling Tidepool children see up close the incredible marine life surrounding us, creatures like northern puffer, spiny dogfish, pipefish and skates. Her work in Central Falls brought the joy of fishing to Spanish-speaking families, in both freshwater and saltwater environments. Whether teaching adults how to dig for quahogs, or students to count river herring going up a fish ladder, Kimberly changes lives through her work. Her special combination of enthusiasm and scientific acumen have allowed Kimberly to successfully influence people across Rhode Island, creating a ripple effect that leads to better stewards for our precious environment.”
As the leader of DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education (ARE) program for the past 15 years, Kimberly has been instrumental in expanding opportunities for Rhode Islanders to get outside, enjoy nature, and experience the joy of fishing in a variety of aquatic environments. Last year she organized Come Clam with Me classes, expanded opportunities for youth and families from Central Falls to learn to fish, and hosted tidal seines to help participants learn about local aquatic species and reinforce conservation and aquatic stewardship.
Kimberly was instrumental in developing the marine biology education component of the annual Youth Fishing Camp that DEM cosponsors with the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association at Rocky Point State Park, Warwick.
A resident of Richmond, Kimberly graduated with honors from Roger Williams University with a B.S. in Marine Biology with minors in psychology and environmental biology. She currently serves as secretary of the national Aquatic Resource Education Association, and is the RI Project WILD State Coordinator, the RI Project WET State Coordinator, and the RI angler R3 representative on the R3 regional committee.
Congratulations Kimberley for a job well done and an award well deserved.
Vineyard Wind comment period reopened and meetings rescheduled
Last month a meeting to review the Environmental Impact Statement on the first ‘utility scale’ offshore wind farm off Massachusetts being developed by Vineyard Wind was canceled due to the Government shutdown. Meetings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been rescheduled by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal government agency responsible for overseeing ocean wind farm development.
Commercial fishermen have voiced their concern about the layout of the wind farm and the inconsistent spacing between turbines in the wind farm. Additionally, recreational fishermen have expressed concerned about no rod and reel surveys being done to study the impact on recreational fishing , and the absence of aerial or acoustic studies to measure impacts on pelagic species such as Mahi, tuna, sharks as well as whales.
Anglers have also expressed a desire to have structure added to turbine bases so that enhanced fish habitat can be established around each pylon.
A meeting in Rhode Island is scheduled for February 15 at the Narragansett Community Center, 53 Mumford Road, Narragansett, RI. There are Massachusetts meetings scheduled for Nantucket, Vineyard Haven, Hyannis and New Bedford. The New Bedford meeting will be held February 14 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, Waypoint Event Center, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA.
The period for public comment has been extended as well, so individuals can submit comment online by going to www.regulations.gov. In the search box, enter BOEM-2018-0069, and then click "search." Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view supporting and related materials available for this notice. For additional information visit https://www.vineyardwind.com/deis .
DEM pre-hearing Wednesday, February 13
The DEM Division of Marine Fisheries will be holding a pre-hearing workshop on Wednesday, February 13 (originally postponed from Thursday, January 31), 5:00 p.m. at the URI Bay Campus, Coastal Institute Building, Hazard Room, S. Ferry Road, Narragansett.
The workshop agenda includes 2019 recreational summer flounder, black sea bass, scup, bluefish, cod and black nose shark possession limits. The agenda will also include commercial fishing management of black sea bass, summer flounder, scup, bluefish and Atlantic menhaden for 2019. The public hearing on these issues is now scheduled for Monday, March 11.
No gaffs and circle hooks proposed for MA striped bass
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is proposing to new striped bass regulations. First prohibiting the use of gaffs to remove or attempt to remove striped bass from the water. And second, beginning in 2020 they are proposing to mandate the use of inline circle hooks by anglers fishing for striped bass with whole or cut natural baits. The circle hook mandate would not apply to artificial lures designed to be trolled, casted and retrieved, or vertically jigged with a natural bait attached.
These proposed regulations will be heard at two public hearings. Fishermen are urged to attend and express their point of view on proposed regulations.
There are two public hearing scheduled to take comments on these and other proposals: 6:00 p.m., February 25, Admiral’s Hall, MA Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay; and 6:00 p.m., February 27, DMF’s Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA.
The Division of Marine Fisheries will also accept public comment through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019. Please address all written comments to Director Pierce and submit to DMF by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114.
For a copy of the strikethrough regulatory text, please visit the DMF website or contact Jared Silva at email@example.com; 617-626-1534).
Baker-Polito Administrations makes Saltwater Fishing Access Grants
The Baker-Polito Administration awarded $50,000 in grants to saltwater fishing access projects in four coastal communities. The grants were awarded through the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) Public Access Small Grant Program, which uses revenue from the sale of recreational saltwater fishing permits to improve angler opportunity in Massachusetts’ marine waters.
Municipalities receiving grants include the Beverly, $15,000 for pier maintenance; Lynn, $15,000 to install solar pathway lighting at Lynn Heritage State Park; New Bedford, $15,000 for overhead lighting at the Gilford Street Boat Ramp; and Marshfield, $5,000 for the addition of kayak racks at Green Harbor and Peter Igo Park.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com or email him with your fishing news and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.