Reducing Nitrogen Pollution via Shellfish Aquaculture

Long Island Sound, photo/Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

In a recent NOAA science blog, Dr. Suzanne Bricker of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), Coastal Ocean Assessments, Status, and Trends (COAST Branch), answers questions about her research to leverage aquaculture as a potential means for mitigating nutrient impacts on Long Island Sound.

How did the project come into existence?

The Long Island Sound Study’s EPA Regional Ecosystem Services Program is re-evaluating the region’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Nutrient Trading Programs (TMDL/Nutrient Trading Program), and is trying to determine if aquaculture farmers should be included into that program. The goal of this study is to evaluate the significance of nutrient removal by shellfish aquaculture in Long Island Sound, and also Great Bay, NH since EPA region 1 is also involved in the program.

Who are the partners in this project? What roles do they play?

This project is being undertaken across a broad variety of partners from the federal, state, private sector, and non-profit sectors. NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Longline Environment, Ltd.Shellfish Environment Services, and HydroQual Inc., will be leading project design, execution, and application of the FARM  and SWEM (pdf) models . The economic modeling phase will be led by Northern Economics, Inc., and Shellfish Environment Services. Finally, the collection and sharing of data will be led by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the EPA Long Island Sound Office, and New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services.

What is the project design?

This diagram shows the project design better than I could describe, it is a modeling exercise informed by experimental research results and other experts. This was part of a presentation,”Shellfish aquaculture and eutrophication reduction in Long Island Sound,” presented at the National Shellfish Association in Baltimore on March 30, 2011 in a session called,” Carrying Capacity, Modeling, Ecosystem services.”

Read the rest of the interview by CLICKING HERE.

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