Our Local Environment

Discover the natural history of Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay through these institutions that offer both online information and activities and nature walks around the state.

Rhode Island Natural History Survey

RINHS has a mission to gather and disseminate information on Rhode Island’s animals and plants, geology, and ecosystems, to support the use of scientific information in the management of natural resources, and to facilitate the work of the people, agencies, and organizations interested in the ecology of Rhode Island.

To pursue this broad mission, RINHS uses a variety of outlets and programs to develop and support the community of naturalists and the dissemination of their skills and knowledge; RINHS gets involved in a variety of projects that can benefit from their capabilities but also give them access to the latest news; and they gather databases, collections, libraries, tool inventories, and other resources that can be used by any interested person or party.

Learn more at https://rinhs.org/

Audubon Society of Rhode Island

The mission of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island is to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitat through conservation, education, and advocacy for the benefit of people and all living things.

Audubon is one of the largest private landowners in the state, maintaining and managing a 9,500-acre refuge system, which includes nearly 30 miles of trails for public use that form the state's largest wildlife refuge system. The organization teaches about 15,000 school children annually - at schools and Audubon sites - with the primary focus being at the award-winning Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol. Located on a breathtaking wildlife refuge, rolling from upland meadows to the Narragansett Bay shore, the center attracts thousands of visitors yearly and houses modern exhibits and the state's largest public aquarium.

Learn more at https://asri.org/

​​Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership program established between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) to promote informed management and sound stewardship of our coastal resources. They’re also a member of a national network of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) representing distinct coastal ecosystems located on each of America’s coasts. (see map of the US Reserves).

Their mission is to preserve, protect and restore coastal and estuarine ecosystems of Narragansett Bay through long-term research, education and training.

Learn more at http://nbnerr.org/

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The RISD Nature Lab is an EPSCoR|C-AIM Core Research Facility supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #OIA-1655221 and EAGER Grant Award #1723559. ​​​Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the Nature Lab and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.​

© 2019 Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design