What We Do

Our work fuses together the ecological knowledge of marine scientists and commercial fishermen, with the culinary creativity of the regions most innovative chefs, to support our marine ecosystems and promote the wild seafood they produce. 

Seafood is a subject area that overlaps many different disciplines from food systems work, to ecosystem and fisheries science, to economics in the marketplace, to culinary arts, and of course fisheries themselves. Because of seafood's interdisciplinary nature, our work must also cross all these disciplines in order to achieve our vision of transforming New England’s seafood marketplace into a support system for its local marine ecosystems and the people who depend on them.

As a small organization we overcome the limits of our small size by engaging in extensive partnerships and collaborations. We work with members of all parts of our seafood supply chains and bridge the gap between ecosystem scientists and food systems thinkers to integrate a place-based approach to sustaining wild seafood into our New England food system.

Our programming includes a combination of educational events, citizen science research, collaborative research with fisheries ecologists and economists, and awareness-raising through print, web, and signage work.

 

Staff

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Kate Masury

Program Director

Kate is a New England native, having grown up in Southern Maine. She comes to Eating with the Ecosystem after finishing a masters program at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California, where she focused on sustainable seafood and fisheries. She brings with her research and communications experience (check out the wonderful website Kate developed as her masters project: www.followyourfish.com).  Kate leads many of Eating with the Ecosystem's programs, including a project in partnership with the University of Rhode Island that will provide the scientific backing to support all of Eating with the Ecosystem's work - a template for eating local seafood species in proportion to their natural abundance. 

Kate can be reached by email at kate@eatingwiththeecosystem.org

 

 

 
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Samantha Sperry

School of Fish Coordinator

Samantha followed her passion for the sea to the University of Rhode Island where she studied Marine Affairs and Fisheries. Samantha worked with the North-East Fisheries Observer and At Sea Monitor program aboard commercial fishing vessels for a number of years remains actively involved with the fishing industry out of Point Judith, RI. Her passion for commercial fishing, seafood, and farming led her to Eating with the Ecosystem where she coordinates our School of Fish workshop series at Hope & Main. Samantha can be reached by email at schooloffish@eatingwiththeecosystem.org

 

Board 

  Kira Stillwell  Treasurer  Kira grew up in Rhode Island as the daughter of a shark biologist, where she formed strong connections with the fishing community and a love of seafood. In her day job, Kira is Program Administrator at the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, where she supports the Survey's numerous programs, from wildflowers to coyotes to turtle. In her heart she is “a water girl” whose favorite ecological zone is the shore and marine environment. She brings a rich knowledge of nonprofit administration to Eating with the Ecosystem's board.

Kira Stillwell
Treasurer

Kira grew up in Rhode Island as the daughter of a shark biologist, where she formed strong connections with the fishing community and a love of seafood. In her day job, Kira is Program Administrator at the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, where she supports the Survey's numerous programs, from wildflowers to coyotes to turtle. In her heart she is “a water girl” whose favorite ecological zone is the shore and marine environment. She brings a rich knowledge of nonprofit administration to Eating with the Ecosystem's board.

  Chris Dodge  Secretary  Chris developed a love of all things marine at an early age, bouncing between the beaches of southeastern CT and Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet, MA. He holds a BS in Marine Vertebrate Biology from Southampton College of LIU and a MS in Biology from Southern CT State University, where he has served as adjunct faculty for over two years. He has been a marine science educator for over a decade in eastern Long Island Sound and a captain for the last seven. He currently fulfills both those roles with Save the Bay, and is thrilled to now call the Ocean State home. His love of marine science and spending time in the kitchens has made Eating with the Ecosystem a perfect fit.

Chris Dodge
Secretary

Chris developed a love of all things marine at an early age, bouncing between the beaches of southeastern CT and Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet, MA. He holds a BS in Marine Vertebrate Biology from Southampton College of LIU and a MS in Biology from Southern CT State University, where he has served as adjunct faculty for over two years. He has been a marine science educator for over a decade in eastern Long Island Sound and a captain for the last seven. He currently fulfills both those roles with Save the Bay, and is thrilled to now call the Ocean State home. His love of marine science and spending time in the kitchens has made Eating with the Ecosystem a perfect fit.

  Syma Ebbin   Syma Ebbin serves as both a professor at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus and the Research Coordinator for Connecticut Sea Grant. Her research has focused on subsistence harvesting, marine spatial planning, and participatory management in coastal communities. She has served on multiple fisheries management and research committees and has worked with Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. During graduate school she also spent time commercially fishing in Alaska.

Syma Ebbin

Syma Ebbin serves as both a professor at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus and the Research Coordinator for Connecticut Sea Grant. Her research has focused on subsistence harvesting, marine spatial planning, and participatory management in coastal communities. She has served on multiple fisheries management and research committees and has worked with Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. During graduate school she also spent time commercially fishing in Alaska.

 
  Rodman Sykes    Rodman has been a full-time fisherman for 43 years. He fishes on his 68-foot dragger, the Virginia Marise, out of Pt. Judith, RI. Rodman is on the boards of the Point Judith Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation and the RI Commercial Fishermen’s Assocition. He also participates in collaborative research projects with Brown University. He has been invited to speak on several panels about the effects of climate change on fisheries. Rodman spoke at a private Eating with the Ecosystem dinner for the Brown Club at Hourglass Brasserie in April 2013.

Rodman Sykes

Rodman has been a full-time fisherman for 43 years. He fishes on his 68-foot dragger, the Virginia Marise, out of Pt. Judith, RI. Rodman is on the boards of the Point Judith Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation and the RI Commercial Fishermen’s Assocition. He also participates in collaborative research projects with Brown University. He has been invited to speak on several panels about the effects of climate change on fisheries. Rodman spoke at a private Eating with the Ecosystem dinner for the Brown Club at Hourglass Brasserie in April 2013.

  Sharon Benjamin   Sharon has been fascinated by marine life since as long as she can remember, and is motivated by her love of the outdoors and the coastal landscape to work for a better relationship with our environment. She works as Spatial Data Analyst at NOAA Fisheries Social Sciences Branch in Woods Hole, MA, and has a master's degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. She tries to take advantage of living in beautiful Cape Cod by kayaking, birding, and occasionally fishing for bluefish.

Sharon Benjamin

Sharon has been fascinated by marine life since as long as she can remember, and is motivated by her love of the outdoors and the coastal landscape to work for a better relationship with our environment. She works as Spatial Data Analyst at NOAA Fisheries Social Sciences Branch in Woods Hole, MA, and has a master's degree in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. She tries to take advantage of living in beautiful Cape Cod by kayaking, birding, and occasionally fishing for bluefish.

  Maria Vasta   Maria has loved the ocean for as long as she can remember, taking advantage of every opportunity to be in or around the water. Driven by a desire to help sustain New England’s vibrant coastal communities, Maria completed a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. She currently works as a Social Scientist contracted with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. Her work there focuses on the commercial groundfish fishery, and she spends much of her time analyzing the impacts that fishing regulations have on fishermen, their families, and their communities.

Maria Vasta

Maria has loved the ocean for as long as she can remember, taking advantage of every opportunity to be in or around the water. Driven by a desire to help sustain New England’s vibrant coastal communities, Maria completed a B.S. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. She currently works as a Social Scientist contracted with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. Her work there focuses on the commercial groundfish fishery, and she spends much of her time analyzing the impacts that fishing regulations have on fishermen, their families, and their communities.


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Eating with the Ecosystem's Advisory NETwork consists of fishermen, chefs, supply chain businesses, scientists, and other issue experts who share our our vision and offer guidance towards creating a New England seafood system that supports regional ecosystems and the people who depend on them. 

Fishermen

  • AARON GEWIRTZ - F/V Nancy Beth, Point Judith, RI

  • AL EAGLES - F/V Katherine Ann, Newport, RI

  • CHRIS MORRIS - Hoxsie Fish Trap, Point Judith, RI

  • DAWN MCALISTER - End O'Main Lobster, Wickford, RI

  • DOUG FEENEY - F/V Noah, Chatham, MA

  • KATIE EAGAN- Bristol, RI

  • MIKE MARCHETTI - F/V Mister G, F/V Captain Robert, Point Judith, RI

  • PJ RUSSO - F/V Steel Pulse, Bristol, RI

  • SARAH SCHUMANN - Warren, RI

 

Seafood Supply Chain Businesses

  • JARED AUERBACH- Red's Best, Boston, MA

  • MARK PIRRI- Tony's Seafood, Warren, RI

  • TOM LAFAZIA- Narragansett Bay Lobsters, Narragansett, RI

  • VALERIE ROSENBERG- Red's Best, Boston, MA

Chefs

  • ANDY TEIXEIRA- Brix Restaurant, Newport Vineyards, Newport, RI

  • ASHLEY VANASSE- Easy Entertaining Inc., Providence, RI

  • CHRIS JONES- The Mooring, Newport, RI

  • CRAIG HUTCHINSON- Olmo, New Haven CT

  • DAVE SNOW- Stoneacre Brasserie, Newport, RI

  • DEREK WAGNER- Nick's on Broadway, Providence, RI

  • GILL STANSFIELD- Johnson & Wales University, Providence RI

  • GREG COCCIO- Avvio Ristorante, Cranston RI

  • HENRY BOUSQUET- Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, New Bedford MA

  • JASON HEGEDUS- Dune Brother's Seafood, Providence, RI

  • JASON TIMOTHY- Troop and Laughing Gorilla Catering, Providence, RI

  • JON CAMBRA- Roger Williams Univeristy, Bristol RI

  • JOSHUA RIAZI- Ripe Hospitality and the Genesis Center, Providence, RI

  • LISA LOFBERG- Little Moss Restaurant, Dartmouth, MA

  • KRISTOFER HARDING- Harding Catering, Amesbury, MA

  • KYLE HENDERSON- Oberlin, Providence RI

  • MATT TORTORA- What's Good, Providence RI

  • MAX PETERSON- Hemenway's Restaurant, Providence, RI

  • MIKE MELLO- M & C Cafe, New Bedford, MA

  • NICK GILLESPIE- Dune Brother's Seafood, Providence, RI

  • NOAH METNICK- Waterman Grille, Providence RI

  • RICH SILVIA- White Horse Tavern, Newport, RI

  • RIZWAN AHMED- Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI

  • SAMANTHA KUNDRAT- North, Providence, RI & Blackfish Cape Cod, Wellfleet, MA

Scientists and Researchers

  • GAVIN FAY- School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

  • HIRO UCHIDA- Dept. of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island

  • JEREMY COLLIE- Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

  • JOE ZOTTOLI- Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

  • JOHN MANDERSON- NOAA/NEFSC Oceans & Climate & Cooperative Research Programs

 

Thank you to our funders and partners!

Eating with the Ecosystem started activities in 2012 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2014. As we have grown, we have depended on the collaboration and generosity of many friends, funders, and partners. We are deeply indebted to the following groups and individuals for helping us on our path to designing and promoting a place-based sustainable seafood paradigm for New England.

THE PUBLIC: Much of our funding comes in the form of small donations from the public. Members of the public also play a vital moral support role, encouraging us to push forward with our vision! You can get involved in our work by making a contribution or volunteering for Eating with then Ecosystem.

TOWN OF NARRAGANSETT. The Town of Narragansett, RI enhanced our interpretive signage trail by funding the creation of a sign about the Galilee charter boat industry and the installation of four decorative dock pilings for sign mounting.

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND: The University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography received a NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy grant in 2016-2018 to partner with Eating with the Ecosystem to devise "ecosystem-based" seafood marketing strategies to complement the push for ecosystem-based fisheries management in New England. The project will assess the degree of symmetry between New England marine ecosystems and seafood markets, and better understand barriers and opportunities associated with achieving a closer match between the two.

RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION: The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded Eating with the Ecosystem with two rounds of funding to support development of a fisheries interpretive trail. The first round of funding, through a Centennial Grant, supported Eating with the Ecosystem's role in administration and support for a group of Point Judith fishermen to create and install ten interpretive signs to raise awareness about the history and future of the state's premier fishing port. Centennial Grants were awarded to each of Rhode Island's cities and towns in 2016 to commemorate the hundred-year anniversary since the Foundation's founding. A second round of funding in 2017-2018 supported the expansion of the fisheries signage trail to eight other locations of fisheries significance in Rhode Island.

RHODE ISLAND NATURAL HISTORY SURVEY / RESILIENT FISHERIES RI: Eating with the Ecosystem is playing an outreach support role in a project called "Resilient Fisheries RI", which was made possible through a NOAA Saltonstall Kennedy grant to the RI Natural History Survey on behalf of a team made up of members of the Rhode Island fishing industry. Eating with the Ecosystem's role in the project was to coordinate a "Fisheries of the Future" demo event from aboard our Scales & Tales food boat at the Bowen's Wharf Seafood Festival in Newport, RI in October 2017.

RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS: The Rhode Island Foundation Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations so they can better achieve their missions. The Rhode Island Foundation awarded Eating with the Ecosystem with an Organizational Development Grant for 2016 to strengthen our print, oral, and visual communications strategy.

HOPE & MAIN: Eating with the Ecosystem is proud to be a member of the Warren, RI-based culinary business incubator Hope & Main. We host our School of Fish workshops in Hope & Main's demo kitchen, and frequently participate in Meet Your Maker markets to get out the word about our programming and meet the culinary creatives who make the space vibrant.

RHODE ISLAND'S LASA GRANTS: The Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grants, made possible through the support of the State of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and the van Beuren Charitable Trust, generously provided Eating with the Ecosystem with funding to support our Seafood for All pilot project in 2015-2017.

ECO-RI INC. : ecoRI Inc. acted as our fiscal sponsor when we first started up. ecoRI is a unique initiative devoted to educating the public about local environmental and social justice issues and how they interconnect. The nonprofit accomplishes its mission in separate but linked ways: investigative reporting, community journalism, educational programs, public outreach, green consulting, and compostable food-scrap collection.

FISH LOCALLY COLLABORATIVEThe Fish Locally Collaborative is a decentralized network of community fishermen and their allies that works to promote a healthier ocean through community based fisheries. The FLC unites fishermen, fishing families, scientists, community organizers, policy reformers, youth activists, new economy leaders, food system advocates, and many more through a dynamic and flexible collaborative that achieves both policy that works and socio-economic-political power that lasts. Members of the FLC and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance have provided mentoring and friendship along the way.

TOYOTA TOGETHER-GREEN: The National Audubon Society and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in the spring of 2008 to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and offer volunteer and individual action opportunities that significantly benefit the environment. Eating with the Ecosystem's Sarah Schumann was lucky to be selected as one of 40 conservation fellows in 2012. Fellowship funding supported ten ecosystem-based restaurant dinners in Rhode Island and Boston.

PROVIDENCE PROVISION: Eating with the Ecosystem was privileged to win the February 2012 Providence Provision, a grassroots funding model where contestants pitch their ideas to attendees during the course of a home-made meal, and one winner takes the proceeds. We garnered $600 of start-up funds through this process, and had a great deal of fun in the process.

Press coverage for Eating with the Ecosystem

The Best Seafood Books for Seafood Lovers, Fearless Nutrition

Food Boat makes final fall farmers market appearance, Emily Gowdey-Backus, October 26th, 2018

What’s going on in Newport this weekend? Rachael Thatcher, Sep 27, 2018

FOOD BOAT SERVES UP SEAFOOD EDUCATION AT FARMERS MARKETS, Courtney Dell'Agnese, September 19, 2018

Can you pass the Aquidneck Food Challenge?, Sep 14, 2018

‘Food boat’ will serve up seafood and education at local farmer’s markets, Ryan Belmore, What’s Up Newp, September 14, 2018

Can We Eat Our Way to Healthier Oceans? Yes, According to New Cookbook ‘Simmering the Sea’ by Andrea Feldman, JWU Culinary NOW, September 13, 2018

Food Boat event introduces market-goers to scup by Judy Benson, Connecticut Seagrant, September 13, 2018

2018 SEAFOOD THROWDOWN AT THIS WEEK’S CAPE ANN FARMERS MARKET!, Good Morning Gloucester August 16th

2018 Seafood Throwdown at this week’s Cape Ann Farmers Market! Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board AUGUST 15, 2018

"Five Questions With: Kate Masury", by Emily Gowdey-Backus, Providence Business News, March 2, 2018

"Growing, Eating (and Catching) More Local Food Podcast" by EcoTalk Podcast, Eco RI News, October 25, 2017

"Can Sustainable sell our seafood?", by Ashley Fitzpatrick, The Telegram, July 4, 2017

Fish Nerds Podcast- #Eat Like A Fish Citizen Science Episode 161, June 26, 2017

"New Interpretive signs in Galilee", by Philp Cozzolino, Narragansett Times, May 27, 2017

"Galilee walking path celebrates past, present and future of RI Fishing Industry" by Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, May 18, 2017

"The Dish: Eat Drink RI Festival Coming Right Up," by Jamie Coelho, RI Monthly, April 17, 2017

"There’s Something Fishy About Climate Change," by Frank Carini, ecoRI news, January 18, 2016

"Waste Not, Want Not," by Christy Nadalin, East Bay Times, November 16, 2016.

Interview with Sarah Schumann of Eating with the Ecosystem, Good News RI, June 2015.

"Underloved and Delicious," by Taylor Witkin, SustainFish, November 5, 2014.

"Eating Seafood Responsibly," by Frank Carini, ecoRI News, September 11, 2014.

"Salty Dames," by Jenn McCaffery, RI Monthly, June 2014.

"Eating with the Ecosystem: Gulf of Maine," by Jake Kritzer, EDFish, October 25, 2013.

"What's Cooking in PVD? Trend No. 6: Ocean to Table Eating," by Grace Lentini and Julie Tremaine, October 22, 2013.

"Interview with Sarah Schumann of Eating with the Ecosystem," by Rachel Cossar, The Daily Meal, October 12, 2013.

"Sustainable Eating with the Ecosystem," by Rachel Cossar, Foodista On Pointe, October 12, 2013.

"Eating with the Ecosystem's Floating Feast," by Liza Burkin with photos by Tyson Bottenus, Edible Rhody Blog, October 2013. 

"Eating in Place," by Antonia N. Farzan with photos by Michael Salerno, Newport Daily News, October 2, 2013.

"Eat Locally, Think Sustainably at an Eating with the Ecosystem Dinner," by Linda Laban / Nosh On, Metro Boston, October 2, 2013.

"Eating with the Ecosystem: Alewives, Anyone?" by Peggy Hernandez, Boston Globe, October 1, 2013.

"Getting Trashed: New England Fisheries Offer Sustainable Food," in Edge Boston, August 23, 2013.

"Eating with the Ecosystem at Boston's Ten Tables," by Lucas Knapp and Frank Barrie, Know Where Your Food Comes From, May 7, 2013.

"Eating with the Ecosystem: Georges Bank," by Jake Kritzer, EDFish, April 26, 2013.

"Nourish to Serve Local Fish Dinner with a Side of Science," by Patrick Ball, Lexington Patch. February 26, 2013.

"Lexington Eatery Takes Local Food to Next Level," by Marc Filippino,  Lexington Minuteman. February 21, 2013.

 "Sea-Food Differently: Taking an Ecosystem-Based Approach to Eating," by Dale Rappaneau, Providence Monthly. February 2013.

 “Under every stone, an edible treat: A new way to eat seafood,” by Sarah Schumann 41°N. Fall 2012.

“Eating with the Ecosystem: Dining on the treasures of the sea at the Hourglass Brasserie,” by Genie McPherson Trevor with photos by Stephan Brigidi. Edible Rhody. Winter 2013.

"Eat More of What Narragansett Bay Has to Offer", by Jim McGaw, East Bay newspapers, August 31, 2012.

"RI Fisherwoman Wins Conservation Fellowship" by Amy Beaudoin, SO Rhode Island, August 2012

"Sea Change: Navigating the Waters of the Local Fishing Industry" by Rebecca Remillard with photos by Melissa Stimpson, SO Rhode Island, July 2012.

"Eating with the Ecosystem," by Katey Parker, Hand Picked Nation, March 19, 2012.

"Fresh Catch: A New Dinner Series Puts the Spotlight on Sustainable Seafood" by John Taraborelli, in Providence Monthly, March 14, 2012

"Dinner Series Has Purpose" by Gail Ciampa in the Providence Journal, March 14, 2012

For press inquiries, please contact Kate Masury at kate@eatingwiththeecosystem.org.

 

 

TEDX Providence 2013

Eating with the Ecosystem's founder and board president Sarah Schumann was invited to share some innovative ideas about eating seafood at TedX Providence on May 12, 2013. Her talk was titled "To Save Our Fisheries, Eat Like a Fish."