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Posts Tagged ‘aquaculture’

Online Course Catalog of Extension Programs

course catalog imageThere are more than one hundred UConn Extension specialists working throughout Connecticut. These educators are teaching and training in local communities, sharing their experience and knowledge with residents through a variety of programs. These instructional activities now will be easily accessible with the creation of an online extension course catalog.

Extension classes address a wide range of topics, including issues related to agriculture and food systems, the green industry, families and community development, land use and water, nutrition and wellness as well as numerous 4-H and youth activities. The website uses these groupings and an A to Z index so finding offerings is simple and straightforward. Each program links to a page with information on the objectives, goals, components, intended audience, the time of year and how often programs run and a link to the program’s website, that provides additional information.

As part of a nationwide network through the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Extension professionals and trained volunteers engage the state’s diverse population to make informed choices and better decisions. The partnerships enrich our lives and our environment.

View the course catalog online at http://s.uconn.edu/courses.

Did You Know: Mapping the Industry

 

shellfish mapShellfish aquaculture is a large and growing part of Connecticut’s agriculture sector, but site selection is a major challenge. Farmers cultivate oysters, clams and scallops in designated areas of Long Island Sound. Those sites are considered public property and are leased from the state. Farmers need to identify growing areas that are biologically productive for their crop while also considering the potential use conflicts or environmental interactions with their activity on those sites.

To help improve site selection for aquaculture, the Aquaculture Mapping Atlas was developed by Assistant Extension Educator Cary Chadwick, in collaboration with Extension Educator Tessa Getchis and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture.

The latest version of this interactive map viewer includes new data layers and functions. The viewer has updated commercial and recreational harvest areas, natural beds, and shellfish classification areas as well as a plethora of navigation, environmental condition, and natural resource data. Users can overlay map layers, draw new lease areas, and print professional-looking maps.

CT Sea Grant Awarded Grant to Grow Aquaculture and Shellfisheries

Tessa on boat

Tessa Getchis of UConn Extension

Tessa Getchis, Connecticut Sea Grant/UConn Extension aquaculture educator at the University of Connecticut, has been awarded a grant totaling $315,240 to enhance the growth of Connecticut aquaculture and shellfisheries. The project, titled “Listening, Learning and Leading to Support Shellfish Aquaculture Growth in Connecticut and the Nation” is funded by the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program’s Aquaculture Technology Transfer Initiative.

The effort will allow Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension staff and key partners including the Connecticut Bureau of Aquaculture and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Milford Laboratory to carry out activities meant to enhance public awareness of Connecticut’s shellfish resources. The work will support the ongoing Connecticut Shellfish Initiative. The Initiative, a multi-year effort, brings together local interests, including commercial and recreational shellfishermen, municipal shellfish commissioners, academics, NGOs and state and federal resource managers to work together to grow the shellfish industry, increase recreational shellfishing opportunities and enhance natural shellfish populations in Connecticut.

Among the grant activities to be implemented is a public perception survey to help inform a new outreach and education campaign on Connecticut shellfish resources. Community interaction on shellfish topics will also be enhanced by events such as Ag Day at the Capitol, seminars, booths at shellfish festivals and clam digs and use of social media. Another key aspect of the effort will be an economic assessment of Connecticut’s shellfish aquaculture industry and a report on the results.

Finally, the shellfish aquaculture team will collaborate with other states and regions that are developing shellfish initiatives and promote the NOAA National Shellfish Initiative. The goal of the national initiative is to increase populations of bivalve shellfish in our nation’s coastal waters—including oysters, clams, abalone, and mussels—through both sustainable commercial production and restoration activities.

 

Shellfish Mapping Tool

A new version of the Connecticut Aquaculture Mapping Atlas has been launched at: http://clear3.uconn.edu/aquaculture/.

The new and improved website was built based on feedback from shellfish interest groups like yours. The latest version of this interactive map viewer includes new data layers and functions. The viewer includes updated commercial and recreational harvest areas, natural beds, and shellfish classification areas as well as a plethora of navigation, environmental condition, and natural resource data. The viewer allows users to overlay map layers, draw new lease areas, and print professional-looking maps.

New to the Mapping Atlas? Take a look at the user guide or listen in to our upcoming webinar “Using the Aquaculture Mapping Atlas for Fun and Profit” to be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 2 PM to 3 PM. Check out the webinar description below and be sure to contact us with questions or comments. For your convenience, the webinar will also be recorded and archived on the CLEAR website.

Shellfish aquaculture is a large and growing part of Connecticut’s agriculture sector, but site selection is a major challenge. Farmers cultivate oysters, clams and scallops in designated areas of Long Island Sound. Those sites are considered public property and are leased from the state. Because these underwater farms are not located on private property, new or expanding activities are faced with a significant amount of scrutiny. Farmers need to identify growing areas that are biologically productive for their crop while also considering the potential use conflicts or environmental interactions with their activity on those sites. To help improve site selection for aquaculture, the Aquaculture Mapping Atlas was developed. This webinar will introduce the new function and capabilities of Version 4.

Presenters: Tessa Getchis, Connecticut Sea Grant & Cary Chadwick, UConn CLEAR

To register, visit: http://s.uconn.edu/shellfishwebinar

We encourage your feedback so that we can improve the aquaculture and shellfisheries resources we provide. Contact: tessa.getchis@uconn.edu. Technical questions regarding the Atlas should be directed to cary.chadwick@uconn.edu. Data questions should be directed to: kristin.derosia-banick@ct.gov

The Connecticut Aquaculture Mapping Atlas was developed by the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research, in collaboration with Connecticut Sea Grant and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Aquaculture.

State’s Aquaculture Industry Nets Benefits from Changes in Federal Plan

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By Sheila Foran for UConn Today

Commercial shellfish farmers who use the ocean to grow their crops off the nation’s coastline now have the same kind of protection against crop losses as do people who farm on land, due to a recent change in federal policy.

The new language providing coverage was added to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) as part of a recent Farm Bill and is a big deal for Connecticut’s $30 million aquaculture industry.

“We were thrilled to learn that after years of discussion with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), crops that have traditionally not been eligible for federal crop insurance have now been granted coverage under the NAP program,” said Tessa Getchis, a UConn aquaculture extension educator, who was instrumental in the policy change. “That’s a huge step forward for the aquaculture industry now that the program will cover losses due to named tropical storms and hurricanes.”

The program provides financial assistance to producers of what are normally considered non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters resulting in crop losses or the prevention of crop planting. Before the new language, the law stated that commercial shellfish crops could be insured only if they were grown in containers or bags, but that’s not how it’s done in Long Island Sound.

Read more…

New Guide to Help Fish, Shellfish and Seaweed Growers Manage Risks

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 2.17.59 PMNew Guide to Help Fish, Shellfish and Seaweed Growers Manage Risks
 
GROTON CT—A new 285-page illustrated manual, the Northeastern U.S. Aquaculture Management Guide, has just been published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center. Edited by Tessa L. Getchis, Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Extension aquaculture specialist, the manual is a wealth of useful information on potential hazards for those who grow fish, shellfish, and seaweed.  Twenty-five aquaculture extension professionals and many researchers, aquatic animal health professionals and farmers contributed to the information presented in this volume.
 
Every year, the aquaculture industry experiences economic losses due to diseases, pests, adverse weather, or operational mishaps.  This manual identifies many specific risks to help seafood growers identify, manage and correct production-related problems. The guide also includes monitoring and record-keeping protocols, and a list of aquaculture extension professional contacts who can help when there is a problem.
 
The publication was made possible by funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Northeastern Regional Aquaculture Center (NRAC) to the Northeast Aquaculture Extension Network.  
 
It is available for download in PDF format at: http://agresearch.umd.edu/nrac/publications-0