Last month, NCCOS scientist Dr. Suzanne Bricker and partners from the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and Longline Environment Ltd. conducted field sampling and lab and field experiments in Greenwich and Milford, Connecticut, as part of a project evaluating the nitrogen removal potential of oysters.
The project, led by Dr. Julie Rose (NEFSC) and funded by NOAA’s Aquaculture Program, is designed to provide additional validation of the Farm Aquaculture Resource Management (FARM) model for oyster production and nitrogen removal in Long Island Sound. Project partners, with assistance from the Stella Mar Oyster Company and the Greenwich Shellfish Commission, collected oysters and water samples, oyster biodeposits (feces and pseudofeces), and oyster excretion that will provide data for each component of the Eastern oyster nitrogen mass balance.
These data are needed to improve simulation of the nitrogen cycle within the FARM model, to enable more accurate projection of removal at the farm scale. This federal, state, industry partnership using real-world nitrogen data will assure the confident use of FARM in ongoing and future bioextraction studies, aquaculture planning, and marine spatial planning efforts.