NCCOS oyster project leaders Jason Spires and Suzanne Bricker hosted an oyster roast for their teams to celebrate processing the final oyster samples needed to calibrate the Farm Aquaculture Resource Management (FARM) model to bottom-grown oysters.
The project’s final sampling and shucking event, and the lunch that followed, took place at the NCCOS Cooperative Oxford Laboratory (COL) in Oxford, Maryland. Shucking volunteers for the final sampling included COL summer interns Faith McCarthy and Seychelle Brainard and special guest shucker Brandon Puckett, a fellow oyster researcher from the NCCOS Beaufort Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina.
The FARM model analyzes environmental data and oyster feeding and growth rates to assess a site’s suitability for oyster aquaculture and the related impact of the operation on local water quality. Model results will help oyster growers identify aquaculture leases in Chesapeake Bay that best meet their needs and state officials determine how well specific oyster farms and reefs are at removing excess nutrients from the bay through the filter feeding action of their oysters.