Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC), in partnership with CoyoteSmarts, will host the next installment of its Smart Island Series of public engagement forums on October 2, 2019 at 6PM at CCRI – Newport Campus. The 2019 Coyote Smart Island Forum will explore the present population of coyotes on Aquidneck Island and how we can work together to ensure a safe, healthy future for us all. 

The evening will include a presentation from coyote researcher, Numi Mitchell, Ph.D. of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study, about the continued presence of coyotes on Aquidneck Island, followed by a panel discussion on the state and local response with representatives of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Aquidneck Island municipalities, and the agricultural community. Brad Shear of Potter League for Animals will moderate.

John Shea, AIPC Executive Director, said, “civic engagement is an essential goal of the AIPC as we seek to keep Islanders engaged in discussions relevant to our shared future. Very few issues are unique to only one municipality – we are all connected. What happens in one part of the island generally affects us all. Coyotes are a perfect example of this because they don’t care if they are in Newport, Middletown, or Portsmouth. They cross our town lines every day.” Recent Smart Island events include Envisioning the Housing Future for Aquidneck Island in March 2019 and the annual 2019 Legislative Forum in April.

The population of coyotes on the Island has expanded since they first arrived in the 1990’s. This forum aims to inform Aquidneck Islanders about the habits of our newest top predators, how humans contribute to the growth or decline of their numbers, and provide answers to the many questions about our mysterious new neighbors.

CoyoteSmarts is a public information initiative of a group of Rhode Island organizations that have come together to address the growing presence of coyotes on Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands—and in other communities throughout the state.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.