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Despite ongoing research, outreach and demonstration efforts, aquaculture production in Delaware is currently limited in terms of the number of commercial producers. In 2013, then-Governor Jack Markell signed legislation allowing the leasing of subaqueous lands in the Inland Bays for shellfish aquaculture. This represents a significant opportunity to expand DE's aquaculture industry and poses a challenge as there is a new/expanded demand for technical assistance, education, and outreach. The current proposal will enable Delaware State University (DSU) to expand the scope of its existing aquaculture extension program to address this need, building on DE's legacy as a prominent shellfish producer and the DSU Aquaculture Technical Assistance and Outreach Program's model of employing an aquaculture demonstration farm to serve as a laboratory, classroom, and demonstration site. This site will provide a base to conduct shellfish aquaculture production demonstrations, teaching and Cooperative Extension programming and, in the future, will allow a dedicated space for applied research. We will build on our already strong foundation of aquaculture Extension programming in DE by drawing from a network of collaborators, including Mr. Michael Bott from DNREC, Dr. John Jacobs from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as Mr. Don Webster, and Dr. Matt Parker from UMD Cooperative Extension. We will disseminate information to these new growers in partnership with Dr. Ed Hale and to our K-12 teachers and students with Mr. David Christopher, both of whom are with DE Sea Grant (DESG). Collectively our planned activities will allow DSU to continue to fulfill its mission of educating Delawareans 'to advance science, technology, liberal arts and the professions' to produce 'capable and productive leaders who contribute to the sustainability and economic development of the global community.' Through this proposal, we will address the following five objectives:Conduct a formal needs assessment (Clendaniel with help from McIntosh and Hale).Establish a demonstration farm (McIntosh and Hale with help from Bott).Carry out production demonstrations (McIntosh and Hale with input from Webster).Create baseline production cost/benefit analysis for DE (McIntosh with help from Parker).Develop Extension programing in shellfish aquaculture (McIntosh, Hale and Christopher with assistance of Webster and input from Bott, Jacobs and Parker).

McIntosh, D.; Clendaniel, JO, W.; Hale, ED, .; Christopher, DA, .
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