Shellfish Aquaculture Education Project for Farmers and Communities

This two-year shellfish aquaculture project Island is:

  • Enhancing and expanding the reach of an established course ( to prospective farmers considering operating in Rhode Island.
  • Engaging local communities that host aquaculture activities in public dialogue regarding opportunities and challenges associated with the industry.

The aquaculture course, an offering of Roger Williams University Biology Professor Dale Leavitt, Ph.D., an aquaculture expert, has long served as a classroom-based training element for industry newcomers. Now, to support growing interest, the course is being made available for web-based learning — the filmed classes are provided as an online course to a wider audience. Topics include shellfish farming, biology, site selection and permitting, leasing and business strategies.

The community outreach effort brings government, industry and community interests together to engage in productive dialogue about the benefits – jobs and revenue – and concerns – noise, odor and equipment appearance – that emerge in municipalities that host shellfish aquaculture activities. An educational series, including talks from historians, ecologists, and legal experts, as well as field trips to local shellfish farms, are part of the program.

CRC, Roger Williams University, and the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council are partners on this project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Rhode Island Sea Grant.