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NCCOS Partnerships Support Coastal Communities in Maryland

Published on: 06/19/2018
Primary Contact(s): suzanne.bricker@noaa.gov

NCCOS’ Oxford Lab Director, an NCCOS scientist, and partners from Maryland Sea Grant, University of Maryland Extension (UME), and 38o North Oysters gave a joint presentation ‘Oyster Aquaculture and Ecosystem Services’ on June 13, 2018 at the NOAA Congressional Roundtable for Maryland. The meeting was hosted by NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. The Directors of Cooperative Oxford Lab and Maryland Sea Grant provided introductions to the work and emphasized the value of the NOAA - Maryland Sea Grant partnership and collaborative work to the people of Maryland. The presentation described nutrient assessment studies that began in the early 1990s, the national and international context of eutrophication impacts, and the need for study of innovative nutrient management measures such as using oysters for nutrient removal. The UME collaborator described the Maryland Sea Grant funded NOAA – UME oyster ecosystem services project, as well as the history and growth of MD’s oyster aquaculture industry. The owner of 38o North Oysters, a partner in the project, described how the 2-year data collection at his oyster farm leases provided insight into differences in growth rates and oyster quality at his two sites. He also described interest of the Farm Credit Bureau in making loans to the aquaculture industry because with low cost inputs and zero freshwater requirements, it is unlike any other protein-growing investment for the bank. He also emphasized the critical need for a spectrum of science delivery to grow Maryland’s aquaculture industry: scientists to discover and extension agents to translate and inform growers about growth at potential farm site locations and to improve survivability from spawning to market size oysters.

For more information contact: Suzanne Skelley  or Suzanne Bricker

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