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UDaily: Federal funding to UD supports oyster farming in Delaware's Inland Bays

UDaily: Federal funding to UD supports oyster farming in Delaware's Inland Bays

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local and state officials, representatives from the University of Delaware and the Center for the Inland Bays to announce two federal grants to support the development of oyster farming in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded $164,341 to the University of Delaware to study the economics of ecosystem services from aquaculture and estimating consumer willingness to pay for oysters marketed as local and marketed as improving water quality.

“These grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and USDA Rural Development will look into the business potential for Delaware shellfish aquaculture,” said Carper. “Oyster farming is a win-win for Delaware, since oysters improve water quality and farming will create another local industry that provides jobs. There is good work being done in Delaware by both public and private partners, and these grants will help further that research.”

“We are all extremely excited to see oyster aquaculture come to our state, because oysters have the potential to be both good for the economy and good for the environment and it is somewhat rare that you see these two things go hand in hand,” said Sunny Jardine, assistant professor of marine science and policy in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). “Having oysters in the water improves water quality, because oysters filter nutrient pollutants out of the water, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which come from agricultural and urban runoff and pollute our water bodies.”