Monday, January 9, 2012

Shellfish Aquaculture Class- B & G Oysters Offers Focused Events

Shellfish Aquaculture Course in RI

Dale Leavitt is a well-respected person in the field and this is a great opportunity to learn about the field.

Roger Williams University to Offer Practical Shellfish Farming Course - Non-credit course will teach shellfish farming basics to local residents

BRISTOL, R.I., November 29, 2011 – The Roger Williams University Center for Economic and Environmental Development today announced it is presently enrolling students to its non-credit course in Practical Shellfish Farming for the winter 2012 semester. This course will provide interested individuals the technical information needed to confidently undertake a small shellfish farming enterprise in Rhode Island and nearby areas of southern New England. All aspects of shellfish farming, from the broodstock to the market, will be covered over the twelve-week course. Students will learn the basic principles of hatchery, nursery and grow-out operations; as well as risk management, siting and permitting, and business management.

Associate Professor and Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Dr. Dale Leavitt, will instruct the course which will be held on the Bristol, R.I. campus of Roger Williams University. The course will consist of a minimum of twelve classes, which will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The class will commence on Jan. 11, 2011 and run through April 18, 2011, weather permitting. The fee for the entire twelve-week course, including all handout materials, is $120 per student. Students may attend classes on a drop-in basis at a rate of $10 per evening session. Pre-registration is preferred by contacting Cheryl Francis at (401) 254-3110 or, or Dale Leavitt at

Session topics and dates are as follows:

Date            Discussion Topics
11 Jan          Introductions and shellfish aquaculture overview
18 Jan          Shellfish Biology
25 Jan          Shellfish Growout Systems I – Oysters
 1 Feb         Shellfish Growout Systems II – Quahogs & other Clams
 8 Feb         Shellfish Growout Systems III – Scallops & Mussels
15 Feb          Shellfish Nursery Systems I
22 Feb          Shellfish Nursery Systems II
29 Feb          Site Selection, Permitting and Regulations
 7 Mar         Risks to Growing Shellfish I - Predators
14 Mar          Spring Break – no class
21 Mar          Risks to Growing Shellfish II - Diseases
28 Mar          National Shellfisheries Association Meeting – no class
 4 Apr         Shellfish Business Management
11 Apr          Shellfish Hatchery Techniques I (optional)
18 Apr          Shellfish Hatchery Techniques II (optional)

B&G Offering Food Focused Classes

Inspired by the food, beverage, and hospitality education offered to our teams, the south end eateryB&G is inviting its favorite oyster farmers, wine importers, and culinary professionals to spend an afternoon sharing their expertise through talks, tastes, and sips during delicious, informative Master Classes.  Master Classes will be held from
3:00-4:00 pm and cost $35 per person (the Pairing Shellfish with Wine class will be $50).

The Chef's Table

During our Chef's Tables, guests will embark on lunch hour armchair travel to bivalve-rich regions from Cape Cod to Chesapeake Bay, with discussion and dining guided by a B&G team member or visiting expert. Held on Thursdays at 1 pm and limited to eight guests for an intimate atmosphere, each Chef's Table will be $45 per person, including an appetizer, entrée, and glass of wine selected to illustrate the afternoon's topic of discussion.


Beers of the Eastern Seaboard
Brews for Bivalves and Beyond:
Join craft beer specialists, Adam Burnham and Derek Whitaker, of Atlantic Imports, for an afternoon of Suds and Seafood.  We’ll sample the East Coast’s best and most creative brews, from Delaware’s Dogfish Head to New Hampshire’s White Birch Brewing.

A Tour of the Mid Atlantic
Once known as the “breadbasket colonies” the States of the mid-Atlantic cover the dairy farms and orchards of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the seafood-rich shores of Maryland and Delaware, the potato and peanut farms of Virginia.  Accompany B&G Sous-Chef Matt Garland on a table-side tour of this historic and bountiful region.

Chesapeake Classics
Forty fresh water rivers flow into the expansive Chesapeake Bay, making it home to a myriad of aquatic creatures: oysters, blue crabs, stripers and more.  Spectacular seafood became the defining culinary signature of Baltimore and its surrounding shores.   Join General Manager, Jen Pieters, for a nostalgic luncheon of Chesapeakefavorites, including Maryland Crab Cakes and Atlantic Rockfish.

The classes will continue into May with many of the later ones focused on more local areas including Rhode Island and the Cape. .  Here is a link to learn more.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Washington State Embraces Shellfish-- Great Evolving Map of Boston- Starting Oyster Shell Recycling

Washington State Embraces Shellfish with New Initiative

Recently,  Governor Chris Gregoire has unveiled the Washington Shellfish Initiative, an agreement among federal and state government, tribes, and the shellfish industry to restore and expand Washington’s shellfish resources to promote clean-water commerce. We have reviewed the document on-line and it is a multi-participant effort that includes restoration, environmental improvement, and environmental research. 

Washington’s aquaculture industry – farmed clams, mussels and oysters – is worth more than $107 million a year. The industry employs more than 3,200 people and pumps more than $270 million annually into the state economy.

Participating organizations include NOAA, the EPA, State Government, the US Geologic Survey and the Army Corps of Engineers. Work is already under way to improve water quality and protect critical habitat. The Puget Sound Partnership’s goal is a net increase of 10,800 harvestable shellfish acres in Puget Sound – including 7,000 acres where harvest is currently prohibited.

One important piece of this is that they are going to be studying water quality and the impact of shellfish. While their benefit is generally accepted as a fact, there are still some skeptics including those in our own state's regulatory bodies, who question this. In some ways the causal relationship between oysters and improving water quality is like proving that smoking causes cancer. It is a long arduous process to demonstrate the link and prove what is intuitively obvious. 

Congratulations to Students Working with MOP

Wellesley College Freshman Nicole Lobodzinski who completed her Freshman science project looking at oysters and the impact of acidic conditions on their health. Nicole is a California native who volunteered at our October oyster placement event. We supplied her with oysters for her experiment. She is looking forward to a career in aquatic sciences.

UMass Marine Sciences Grad Student Ben Wetherilll asked us for some information for a GIS mapping project looking for sites with habitat that are conducive to oysters. You can see his work here.

Serving as an educational/career development tool for young people was not a goal at our founding, but it has turned out to be a particularly rewarding piece of it.

Great Evolving Map of Boston

While searching for information on Margaret Jones- the first Massachusetts witch executed in 1640 in Charlestown and Alice Thomas the colonial "Mass Bay Madam," I came across this terrific map that shows the evolution and filling around the Boston Peninsula. Among other interesting features it shows the filling of the Mill Pond around 1800 and the enclosure of Fort Point Channel. When you go to the site, click on history and you can watch the video as a loop or frame by frame.

Oyster Shell Recycling Growing

We have begun moving recycling oyster shell in East Boston in space loaned to MOP by a local businessman. As we refine our processes, we will seek to recycle oyster from MOP events and potentially area restaurants. For now, we are keeping it as a small facility as we learn how best to manage the process. Oyster shell needs to be stored for a year before it can be used for either a base layer for placing live oysters on top or for serving as medium for growing spat upon it.  In upcoming weeks we will have a representative meeting with the New York New Jersey Oyster Restoration Partenership to learn of their recycling effort.

There also is a growing program on Martha's Vineyard. Below is information on an upcoming meeting they will be holding later this month.

Our Shell Resource: Shell Recycling on Martha's Vineyard
When: Saturday January 21, 2012, 11:00am-2:00pm
Where: Wakeman Center, Lamberts Cove Road, Vineyard Haven, MA.
The Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group will host an informative community workshop to explore the ideas and challenges of shell recycling on the Vineyard. What benefits does shell bring to our pond ecosystems? How may shell recycling impact the Vineyard refuse stream? How can businesses and citizens get involved?
Special guest Stephan Abel, Executive Director of the Maryland Oyster Recovery Partnership will attend and present about successful shell recycling in the Chesapeake area. Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group Director Rick Karney, and Emma Green-Beach of the Marine Biological Laboratory will talk about the importance of shell in marine ecosystems and Jessica Kanozak will report on the progress of the first year of the Martha's Vineyard Shell Recovery Partnership. The workshop will conclude with a panel brainstorming ways to expand the program and make it sustainable.  Come to this FREE workshop. Join the discussion. Contribute to this developing initiative. Coffee & light lunch provided. For more information please contact Rick Karney at

MOP Hat in San Diego

This photo of a gentleman wearing the MOP hat was sent in by one of our volunteers. He is standing in front of the historic landmark del Coronado Hotel.