NC Coastal Federation Aquaculture Project

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Photo by Vanda Lewis via NC Sea Grant News

An outgrowth of the NC Coastal Federation oyster restoration initiative, this project led by Todd Miller of the NC Coastal Federation, Susan White of the NC Sea Grant, and Charles Peterson of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences continues to build and promote the fledgling oyster aquaculture industry by informing state and local policies that support growers and outline proven management approaches, providing training, reducing barriers, and promoting local products.

In 2019, the project completed the second year of work to develop a much-needed strategic plan to grow shellfish farming to a $100 million industry by 2030 along the North Carolina coast, combining science and management with best practices from other states to position our shellfish mariculture industry for success. This project continued to work directly with the UNC Policy Collaboratory with 2 graduate students hired through the Collaboratory to work on this project. The project’s Shellfish Mariculture Advisory Council (SMAC) included members that are scientists from UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, East Carolina University, and Carteret Community College. The North Carolina Strategic Plan for Shellfish Mariculture: A Vision to 2030 continues to be distributed and used as a basis for future action. The next steps will focus on working to implement key recommendations in the new shellfish mariculture strategy while at the same time updating the North Carolina Oyster Blueprint.

The Coastal Federation has invited continued KIETS support and collaboration in FY 2019-20 as it implements recommendations from the strategic plan thereby supporting state and local policies that support growers, enabling proven management approaches, providing training, reducing barriers, and promoting the commercialization of local products. KIETS is helping the NC Coastal Federation identify and engage potential university and external partners in the implementation phase.