South Ferry Road Water Monitoring

The 2024 monitoring season for URI Watershed Watch is underway, and the Bay Campus community is participating for the fourth year by taking samples at the beach on South Ferry Road.

In Rhode Island, two groups of bacteria are monitored to indicate the presence of human sewage and associated pathogens, or disease causing organisms – fecal coliforms (indicator for shellfishing) and enterococci (indicator for swimming).

People (and pets) can get sick from swimming in, swallowing, or eating shellfish harvested in polluted water. Fortunately, while swimming-related illnesses are unpleasant, they usually are not very serious and require little or no treatment.


South Ferry Road Beach

Bay Campus Scenics by Alex DeCiccio

From Shoreline RI from URI, Rhode Island Sea Grant, and the Coastal Resources Center:

The old Jamestown ferry landing at the end of South Ferry Road off Route 1A also consists of a small cobble beach on the West Passage. Dutch Island, Jamestown, and the Jamestown Bridge may be seen in the distance. This is a multi-use site for swimming, fishing, boating, and windsurfing. The site is adjacent to the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. Parking is available. • CRMC ROW#: C-8

Volunteers Needed

Bay Campus community volunteers are needed to take water samples on Wednesday mornings and deliver them to the URI Watershed Watch Lab on main campus by noon. The task will take about an hour and a half of your time.          

The South Ferry Beach Monitoring committee supplies instructions, equipment and a committee member as an assistant and photographer.

Email Veronica at if you would like to volunteer.


Thank you!

Contact any members of the committee (Monica Allard Cox, Annette DeSilva, Sarah Gaines and Veronica Berounsky) if you have questions. Thank you to GSO Dean Paula Bontempi for funding the lab analyses of the samples. Thank you to Elizabeth Herron and the URI Watershed Watch Lab for providing the sample bottles, running the analyses and posting the results online.