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Coastal Impacts

Woods Hole Sea Grant Newsletter

January 2019

From the Director


You may be surprised to learn that nearly 90 percent of the seafood we consume here in the United States comes from abroad, and most of these imports are farmed products. As such, Sea Grant and other federal programs are promoting research and outreach activities on aquaculture, which holds great promise for reducing this trade imbalance while providing healthy and sustainable seafood products here at home. In this issue of our newsletter we feature several stories on initiatives designed to expand the aquaculture industry here in Massachusetts. In the past 5 years, the dollar value of shellfish production in the state has nearly tripled, much of that due to the increasing popularity of oysters. Woods Hole Sea Grant plays an integral role in supporting the oyster culture industry, and is also conducting research on products beyond this single species from kelp to blood clams, as a way to help farmers diversify their portfolio of farmed products. These species also hold promise in terms of improving water quality – unlike crops on land, they require no water or fertilizer, and in fact they absorb nutrients from their environment. Combined with the economic benefits, a growing aquaculture industry in the state is a real win-win for all its citizens.
- Matt Charette, director, Woods Hole Sea Grant

The Kelp Forests of New England

January 2, 2019

New England isn’t known for its kelp forests the way California and other parts of the world are. But the truth is, below the surface of both inshore and offshore waters throughout New England, especially in areas that have rocky bottoms and a lot of wave action, there are “lush…

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Greens from the Ocean

January 2, 2019

What do warming oceans mean for Massachusetts’s nascent kelp farming industry? Seaweed farming is a huge global business valued at $6 billion, yet in the U.S. it is still getting its sea legs. Around New England there are perhaps 40 – 50 farmers of all sizes and experience levels working…

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Beyond Oysters: Expanding the shellfish market for alternative species

January 2, 2019

Expanding shellfish markets for alternative species Oysters on the half shell represent 94 percent of Massachusetts’s $28 million shellfish aquaculture industry. For an industry that has grown over 300 percent in value over the last ten years, some worry about the reliance on a monocrop: one bad year for oysters…

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Setting ‘Sites’ for Aquaculture

January 2, 2019

New GIS-based tool can help aquaculture industry grow The simple pleasure of digging for clams and oysters is part of the fabric of life in New England. But for those wanting to make a living from growing shellfish – or those who license and monitor it – the process for…

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Teacher-at-Sea Alumni Connect with Woods Hole Sea Grant

December 29, 2018

For educators who want to teach young people about ocean science, the opportunity to work with world-renowned scientists and experience life at sea aboard a research vessel is a dream come true. The NOAA Teacher at Sea Program gives teachers that opportunity, sending select teachers on research expeditions that last…

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Recent Highlights

New Woods Hole Sea Grant Website

January 23, 2019

Woods Hole Sea Grant has a new look and a new URL —  Take a few minutes to browse our new website and update your bookmarks. We’re eager for any feedback you might have. Email us at

New Research Coordinator Joins Woods Hole Sea Grant

December 28, 2018

Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) is pleased to announce that Jennie Rheuban will be joining their team as research coordinator.

Woods Hole Sea Grant Biennial Request for Proposals

December 27, 2018

Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) biennially requests proposals for projects from investigators at academic, research and education institutions throughout the state of Massachusetts. Woods Hole Sea Grant is administered at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, but the research competition is open to faculty and staff at any public or private research or higher education institution, usually those based in the state of Massachusetts. Funded projects will contribute to WHSG and Massachusetts priority information needs and advance knowledge in one of four focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture;…

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Woods Hole Sea Grant:
Putting science to work for Massachusetts's coastal communities.