Connecting Sea Grant, NCCOS, and Coastal Stakeholders to Improve Sustainable Aquaculture Siting and Development


meeting room with presenters

Project Summary

Recent efforts focus on identifying Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in U.S. waters as Congressional interest in improving aquaculture regulation increases. Whether inshore or offshore, sustainable aquaculture wades into crowded waters where multiple, complex layers of stakeholders are present. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)—and particularly the Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program (CASS)—are well equipped to meet these challenges and have created many resources to aid decision making by coastal ocean stakeholders. Key to a science-based approach, these NCCOS tools and services often use marine spatial planning as a continually evolving method to analyze and address the challenges of ecosystem and human interactions in coastal ocean areas.

The goal of this project is to build the capacity of the Sea Grant Network to assist stakeholders in utilizing and informing the coastal science products and resources developed by NCCOS CASS. We propose a comprehensive project that will build capacity and collaboration among Sea Grant (SG), NCCOS, and other coastal ocean stakeholders for environmentally, economically, and socially equitable aquaculture development. Central to this work is the creation of a National Aquaculture Extension Coordinator position (Coordinator) to oversee extension of NCCOS resources, inform broad SG/NCCOS marine spatial planning efforts, and facilitate a series of collaborative, regionally tailored workshops to advance aquaculture siting conversations. Workshops will take place in the Mid-Atlantic (Summer 2022); Gulf of Mexico (Winter 2023); Southern California (Fall 2023); Pacific Northwest (Summer 2024); Pacific Islands (Fall 2024); and New England (Spring 2025).


Sea Grant-NCCOS Mid-Atlantic Aquaculture Siting and Development Pilot Workshop

Sea Grant-NCCOS Gulf of Mexico Aquaculture Siting and Development Workshop

Sea Grant-NCCOS California Aquaculture Siting and Development Workshop

Co-Principal Investigators

Alaska Sea Grant
California Sea Grant
Florida Sea Grant
Hawai'i Sea Grant
Maine Sea Grant
North Carolina Sea Grant
Texas Sea Grant
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science


This project is funded by the National Sea Grant Office with additional funds from NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).


For further questions, contact:

Maryland Sea Grant Aquaculture

Photo: Mid-Atlantic Aquaculture Siting and Development Pilot Workshop. Photo, Hannah Cooper/MDSG.


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