M/V Rosemary Quinn lands on Narragansett Bay islands for ICC cleanups

M/V Rosemary Quinn lands on Narragansett Bay islands for ICC cleanups

By Conor LaLonde, communications intern

boat approaching shoreline
The Rosie Q shows her beaching capabilities as volunteers load the boat with trash to be disposed of off-site at a Safe Harbor Marina

Narragansett Bay is home to over 40 islands, offering important coastal habitats for various species, fauna, and marine life. Thanks to Save The Bay’s newest asset, the M/V Rosemary Quinn, our volunteers ventured to Patience, Prudence and Dyer islands during September and October, intending to leave the coastline cleaner than they found it.

Unique capabilities

The addition of the M/V Rosemary Quinn and her specific capabilities as a landing craft provide Save The Bay with new opportunities across the organization. With its beaching capabilities in shallow waters, volunteers or students can be dropped off and picked up directly from local shores. While the vessel has been integral for educational programs, in recent months it played an important role in  coastal cleanups as well. The ability to beach allows us to access and clean up previously inaccessible areas, including Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR) properties on Patience Island, Dyer Island, and Prudence Island. The opportunity to get out on a Save The Bay vessel to experience and clean up a new-to-them place on Narragansett Bay was the draw for some volunteers. July Lewis, Save The Bay’s volunteer and internship manager, shared, “Some of our volunteers already knew and loved these places and some were excited to go because they had never seen them before.” 

International Coastal Cleanup

The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), a global event organized by The Ocean Conservancy, takes place from September through November. Save The Bay is the Rhode Island state coordinator for local ICC efforts, organizing dozens of cleanups throughout the state. Our volunteers removed 639 lbs. of trash from Patience Island, 140 lbs. from Prudence Island and 864 lbs. from Dyer Island.

trash on the boat, surrounded by volunteers
Volunteers collected 639 lbs. of trash on Patience Island

This information, along with the in-depth breakdown of items of trash collected, is contributed to The Ocean Conservancy’s annual Cleanup Report, which helps scientists and advocates around the world tackle ocean trash at a global scale. The data also helps Save The Bay get a big-picture snapshot of the trash and debris on our shores. For example, volunteers collected 489 cigarette butts on Dyer Island, versus only 12 on Patience Island; and 280 beverage bottles on Patience Island, versus 14 on Dyer Island. This snapshot of data helps paint a picture of what type of activities are leading to litter on these islands.

Save The Bay volunteers’ enthusiasm and willingness for island cleanup truly made this new program, with our new vessel, possible. Looking forward, we hope to continue more cleanups of these previously hard-to-reach areas, and possibly reach new sites as we continue our work to protect and improve Narragansett Bay!  We hope to continue protecting these locations from trash and pollution, all for the goal of a cleaner, stronger, and resilient Narragansett Bay. 

Thanks to our partnerships with the NBNERR and Safe Harbor Marinas, we were able to safely remove and dispose of the collected trash and debris. We are thankful for their support and look forward to continuing these partnerships.

Learn more about our opportunities to volunteer and sign up for an ICC cleanup.