Who are the stakeholders? SOCAN hits the road (and water).
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 NEWSLETTER
NEWS FROM THE SOUTHEAST:
WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS? SOCAN HITS THE ROAD.
Who are the acidification stakeholders in the Southeast? SOCAN hit the road (and water) to Georgia and Florida to visit with established partners and to meet new ones. Who did we visit?
Sapelo Sea Farms plants clam seed at low tide near Sapelo Island, Georgia
SAPELO SEA FARMS
We kicked off the tour with a ride on Charlie Phillips' airboat near Sapelo Island, Georgia. Charlie (pictured left) owns
Sapelo Sea Farms, growing oysters and clams in Georgia's coastal waters. Charlie has been an active voice in the SOCAN community and far beyond. Studies show negative effects of acidification on clams (
see here) but there are few acidification studies in coastal Georgia. A better understanding of acidification in these coastal waters could shape how and when shellfish growers plant their clam seed. Side note- if you're ever in the area, you must try out Charlie's restaurant, The Fish Dock!
UGA SHELLFISH RESEARCH LABORATORY
Next, we visited the University of Georgia (UGA)
Shellfish Research Laboratory. Launched in 2015 by the UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, this hatchery produces oyster seed for the Southeast region, experimenting with different techniques to maximize production. The hatchery does not yet monitor carbonate chemistry parameters, but Director Thomas Bliss (pictured right) was not hesitant to say that more information is always better! SOCAN is interested in finding funding and partners to work with this team to help to fill this gap at the Shellfish Research Laboratory.
Thomas Bliss shows us oyster spat at the UGA Shellfish Research Laboratory
Dr. Emily Hall gave us a tour of the acidification experimental setup at Mote Marine Laboratory
MOTE MARINE LABORATORY
Our last visit was with Dr. Emily Hall at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Emily is a SOCAN Science Working Group Member and manages the
Ocean Acidification Program at Mote. Emily (pictured left) showed us the experimental system that's currently evaluating the effects of acidification on stone crab larval stage development as well as acidification and warming on the sea anemone as a model organism for corals. Their goal is to look at the holobiont response- or the whole system- that includes the anemone, bacteria and algae. Stay tuned for results from this great work at Mote!
One of SOCAN's goals is to connect our partners in the OA community with stakeholders in the Southeast region. Interested in making those connections or in working on a project with a stakeholder? Contact SOCAN!
CAPITOL HILL TESTIMONY FROM GULLAH/GEECHEE'S QUEEN QUET
While we were going south, one of our stakeholders went north! Just as she did last July at our
Charleston workshop, Queen Quet of the
Gullah/Geechee Nation delivered powerful testimony on the need for ocean climate action to Congress at
a hearing on February 7. Queen Quet
spoke passionately to how climate change is affecting Gullah/Geechee homes, culture, and livelihoods in the Southeast. Already facing sea level rise, hurricanes, and flooding, the Gullah/Geechee are now also concerned with ocean and coastal acidification as they are a traditional fishing culture who rely on oysters, crab, and fish for sustenance and cultural sustainability. Learn more
here. Photo credit: Rafeed Hussain.
SECOORA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Acidification Program are facilitating the operation of the SOCAN to support and encourage discussions on ocean and coastal acidification in the Southeast region.