Salt Ponds Coalition Announces Summer Events Calendar

The Salt Ponds Coalition announces a full calendar of fun and educational events to introduce people of all ages to the beautiful southern Rhode Island salt ponds.

The salt ponds are wonderful places to spend time outdoors during the warm summer months. In addition to being great places for paddling, boating, sailing, fishing, swimming, waterskiing/tubing, beachcombing, bird watching, and more, the ponds are important habitat for fish, shellfish, shorebirds, and other wildlife.

The Salt Ponds Coalition (SPC) is a membership supported, non-profit organization dedicated to stewardship of and advocacy for the southern Rhode Island salt ponds. According to Art Ganz, SPC President, “The best way to encourage stewardship and appreciation of our ponds is to get people to experience them first-hand.”

SPC has four guided paddles and four “Salt Pond Safaris” planned this summer to get people onto, and into, the salt ponds. SPC’s guided paddles introduce explorers to the varied coastlines in our ponds, including woodland, marshes, and sandy shores. Guides will discuss the natural and human history of the areas visited, along with issues that continue to put the ponds at risk. Salt Pond Safaris are family events at which children are introduced to the life that exists just below the water’s surface. Children assist in using a seine net to capture small fish and crustaceans, and are always delighted at what they catch.

Detailed information on all events in SPC’s calendar, including driving directions and links to paddling maps, may be found at www.saltpondscoalition.org. You may also contact SPC at saltpondscoalition@gmail.com (or call 401-322-3068) if you have any questions. Paddlers should arrive at the launch site 30 minutes before launch time.

Salt Pond Safaris, 10-11:30 AM. Four dates: 6/28/14, 7/19/14, 8/9/14, 8/23/14. Meet at US Fish and Wildlife kayak launch in Ninigret Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown at 9:45. Free, please pre-register.

7/5/2014 (Saturday): Guided paddle, 9 -11:30 AM, Green Hill Pond. Launch site: Ocean Ridge Civic Assn. beach, Ram Island Rd., Charlestown. Free, no pre-registration.

7/26/13 (Saturday): Guided paddle, 9 – 11:30 AM, Ninigret Pond. Launch site: US Fish and Wildlife kayak launch in Ninigret Wildlife Refuge in Charlestown (use Park entrance on Rt. 1A). Free, no pre-registration.

8/22/13 (Friday evening): Guided Row & Glow Bioluminescent Paddle, 7-9:30 PM. Join Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and SPC for this evening paddle to observe the bioluminescent glowing of comb jellies as they are agitated by your paddle. There is a fee for this event and pre-registration is required. Contact heather@wpwa.org or call 401-539-9017 for more information; register at www.wpwa.org.

9/6/14 (Saturday): Guided paddle, 9 – 11:30 AM, Winnapaug Pond. Launch site: Westerly Town Beach overflow parking lot, north side of Atlantic Ave. Free, no pre-registration.