Governor Gina Raimondo and her family will join Mayor Scott Avedisian and DEM Director Janet Coit today on a clamming trip with Warwick native and shellfisherman, Jody King. The First Family will participate in digging for clams aboard King’s “Black Gold.”
“I have such fond childhood memories of watching the fishing boats pull into port,” said Raimondo. “These are memories I share in common with many Rhode Islanders. And I look forward to sharing this experience with my children and celebrating the many riches of our beautiful Bay and the work and passion of our local fishermen. As the Ocean State, we love our seafood. And we love our Bay; it is an integral part of our social and economic fabric – promoting tourism, inspiring quality of life, and supporting working families.”
- WHO: First Family, Mayor Scott Avedisian and DEM Director Janet Coit
- WHERE: Oakland Beach Boat Ramp, End of Bay Avenue (approximate street address 50 Bay Avenue), Warwick, Rhode Island
- WHEN: Thursday, June 16, 2016, boats depart at 9:00 a.m.
Rhode Island has a diverse and dynamic commercial fishing and seafood industry. Steeped in tradition, the industry continues to thrive due to the health and abundance of local favorites such as quahogs and littlenecks. Last year, nearly 100 million pounds of seafood arrived to a Rhode Island port – with an ex-vessel value over $75 million and an export value of more than $1 billion. Some 28 million shellfish were harvested from Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal waters. Clamming also continues to be a beloved local pastime and family tradition.
“The City of Warwick has long recognized the importance of commercial shellfishing to the local economy,” said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. “This visit by the Governor and her family highlights that importance. It also showcases the commitment that DEM and the City have placed on our recent agreement to mitigate stormwater issues in the city. With 39 miles of coastline, Warwick is poised to improve water quality for commercial, recreational, and economic progress.”
Increasingly, Rhode Island’s local food sector is cited as an area of economic strength ripe for innovation; local seafood is poised to spur the next wave of food-based economic growth. In March, Governor Raimondo and First Gentleman Andy Moffit held the state’s first Quahog “Restaurant” Week to highlight the economic and cultural importance of the state’s shellfishing industry and to promote the RI Seafood brand and local eateries. The state developed the “RI Seafood” label to uniquely identify Rhode Island seafood in the marketplace and support local fishermen and distributors in growing their businesses and participating in the state’s growing food and tourism economy – which supports more than 60,000 local jobs.
“We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have an exceptional wild harvest of shellfish,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “And we continue to make progress in cleaning up Narragansett Bay and promoting the vibrancy of our local waters to support strong fisheries into the future. Digging for clams continues to be a tasty tradition for Rhode Islanders and visitors – as well as the lifeblood for many local fishermen. Thanks to their efforts, we have littlenecks, cherrystones, quahogs and so many other delicious local seafood options to enjoy year round.”
“I am thrilled to share this experience with the First Family and Mayor Avedisian,” continued Coit. “Fishing is part of our identity in Rhode Island, and it doesn’t get much better than heading out on Narragansett Bay to harvest clams by day, and sitting down to enjoy a fresh, delicious seafood dinner by night. Tremendous!”
For more information on local seafood, visit www.seafoodri.com. Follow DEM on facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.