Bowen’s Wharf Co. Launches the Rhode Island Oyster Trail

If you attended the inaugural Newport Oyster Festival, you may have heard that Bowen’s Wharf Co. announced the launch of the Rhode Island Oyster Trail (R.I.O.T)! We are excited about this new initative, as the R.I.O.T celebrates Rhode Island’s aquaculture and promotes the heritage and future of this important piece of the economy within the Ocean State.

“The Rhode Island Oyster Trail is a self-guided tour featuring the local farmers that grow oysters and the restaurants that serve them year-round,” said Bart Dunbar, President of Bowen’s Wharf Co. “Each oyster farm on the Rhode Island Oyster Trail is very different because the body of water where oysters are grown is different. And, each farmer has a system in place that works to coincide with where they grow. The result is an amazing variety of premium oysters that are quickly putting the Ocean State on the map for aquaculture and we are proud to help promote it.”

The launch of the R.I.O.T coincided with the Opening Night event at the Newport Oyster Festival, May 20-22 at historic Bowen’s Wharf. Over the weekend 20,000 oysters were shucked and slurped and more than two tons of oyster shells are headed back in the water to build new reefs in South County, Rhode Island, thanks to The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island.

We had two winners over the weekend of the Newport Oyster Festival. Congratulations to Tim Driscoll from the Landing who won the shucking contest by beautifully shucking a dozen oysters in an impressive time of 1 minute 4 seconds! Also, congratulations to Louie Tavares who won the silent auction at the Opening Night event, which included an overnight stay at Castle Hill and a wine package from Santa Margherita.

Bowen’s Wharf Co. set the goal for the Newport Oyster Festival to be a sustainable event. About 3,300 gallons of compostable plates, flatware and cups were collected for the Compost Plant, a Providence-based company that offers commercial composting in Rhode Island. With the help of The Nature Conservancy’s volunteers, who contributed a total of 110 hours of service to the festival, guests sorted their trash so that it could be properly disposed of and were educated on the benefits of composting and recycling.

If you are a business that is interested in becoming a member of the R.I.O.T, benefits include a business profile and map location on the new website, use of the R.I.O.T logo, digital marketing and eligibility to participate in trail-related events. To join the R.I.O.T, contact Trixie Wadson at: or call 401.849.2243.