Projects & Initiatives

Rhode Island Salt Marsh Conservation Project

Project to identify upland areas where salt marshes are more likely to migrate in the face of sea level rise. 

  • Identify most important unprotected parcels to conserve to allow for landward marsh migration
  • Educate community of critical conservation targets using project website, maps & workshops.

RI Digital Atlas

The Rhode Island Digital Atlas is a long-term labor of love for us here at the URI Environmental Data Center.  We’ve been working to make the Atlas very easy to use, helping you to quickly find meaningful and useful maps of our home, Rhode Island.

The world’s coastal ocean waters continue to be degraded by unsustainable fishing practices, habitat degradation, eutrophication, toxic pollution, aerosol contamination, and emerging diseases. There is a growing recognition among world leaders that positive actions are required on the part of governments to redress global environmental and resource degradation with actions to recover depleted fish populations, restore  habitats and reduce coastal pollution.

Marine Wildlife Behavior Database

The Marine Wildlife Behavior Database is a project which aims to create a national database of the seasonal distribution, abundance, and behavior of marine wildlife.  This database is needed to consistently assess the impact of noise activities and to identify areas requiring further research.

Peter August

Rhode Island South Coast Habitat and Community Resiliency Project

Providing technical support to CRMC  in the form of geospatial data collection, data management and outreach/education. The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) initiated a salt marsh restoration project in the coastal ponds of Rhode Island’s south shore. Restoration involves deposition of dredge materials on the salt marsh platform (thin layer deposition) to enhance the sustainability of salt marsh habitat under a regime of accelerated sea level rise. 

NarrBay.Org is the one stop portal for researchers interested in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. NarrBay is home to specialized coastal and marine datasets which can be downloaded in a variety of formats.

Chris Damon

Rhode Island National Guard

The Rhode Island Army National Guard maintains a small but technically robust GIS office within the Construction, Facilities, and Management Office.  Tracey Daly is the GIS manager for the Guard under the leadership of LTC Sean McKiernan. The EDC provides technical support for the office in terms of GIS and GPS software maintenance and management, ArcGIS Server and web applications, and ArcGIS desktop support.

Ecological Land Units

Using Ecological Land Units — ELUs — we provide a mechanism to identify properties that will be important in protecting biodiversity now and into the future as different species of plants and animals come and go as climatic conditions change. It is uncertain what particular species will occupy specific habitats when climates are very different, but ELUs help us identify landscapes that will support rich biodiversity in changing climates.

Hurricane Sandy: NPS Elevation Mapping Project

Elevation Mapping of Critical Park Areas for Planning and Post- and Future Storm Evaluation and Modeling

The goal of this project was to create the data infrastructure and technical procedures that could be used in preparing for and responding to storm events at three National Parks. We focused primarily on elevation data and inundation modeling.

The SAV Mapping project is a collaboration between members of the Eelgrass Mapping Task force to map and monitor the extent of SAV in Rhode Island coastal waters.  In 2013, active members of the taskforce included:  Save the Bay, CRMC, NBNERR, and USFWS.  Mapping and monitoring is done using a tiered system developed by USGS. 

Tier 1 consists of polygons digitized using a digital aerial photograph as a base map. 

This project is currently seeking funding partners in order to continue.

RI Conservation Stewardship Collaborative

The Conservation Stewardship Collaborative works to advance long-term protection and stewardship of terrestrial, aquatic, coastal, estuarine, and marine areas in Rhode Island that have been conserved by fee, easement, or other means.

Peter August

Narragansett Bay Project: Data Recovery

File hosting for the Narragansett Bay Project data recovery project addressing 1985 to 1992.

Peter August

Hurricane Sandy: NPS Data Management

NPS Sandy: Data Management 

Worked with coastal parks to assist in geospatial preparedness, response, and procedures in future storm event following Hurricane Sandy.  

Assateague National Seashore (ASIS), Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS), Gateway National Recreation Area (GATE)

Greg Bonynge

MapCoast Partnership

The MapCoast Partnership is a consortium dedicated to multidisciplinary mapping of coastal underwater resources, including bathymetry, habitat, geology, soils/ sediment, and archeological resources in shallow waters.

Greg Bonynge

NPS: Natural Resource Condition Assessment Center

Provides maps, data, and supporting documentation produced for Natural Resource Condition Assessment Projects conducted in a number of Northeast Region National Parks.

NPS: Sea Level Rise and Monumentation

Coastal parks in the northeast are at risk from climate change impacts of sea level rise and surge caused by large storms. The goal of this project is to estimate risk at specific locations in northeastern coastal national parks.

Our process requires establishing a survey control network and accurate elevation measurements (cm) at sentinel sites.