Reed, University of Rhode Island experts break ground at site of Matunuck shellfish hatchery

Sen. Jack Reed is seen speaking with shell fishers, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. (WLNE)

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Rhode Island shellfish farmers will soon have a steady supply of oysters year-round.

Once completed, the Matunuck Shellfish Hatchery and Research Center will allow the University of Rhode Island to contribute to the Ocean State’s aquaculture industry.

Sen. Jack Reed and URI graduate Perry Raso, the founder of the Matunuck Oyster Farm, Matunuck Oyster Bar, and Matunuck Vegetable Farm, as well as experts from URI, broke ground at the construction site on Tuesday.

Reed advocated for $2.3 million in federal funding for the facility, a partnership between URI and the Matunuck Oyster Farm.

The facility will grow and supply oyster seed as a resource for the state’s shellfish farmers and researchers.

It will cultivate more species like bay scallops, sea urchins, and seaweeds in the future.

Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse advocated to secure a $1.6 million grant for aquaculture research at Roger Williams University last summer.


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