Awards: eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy Mini-Grants

eeblue aquaculture grants Beals Island Dock

Through the NOAA-NAAEE Collaborative Aquaculture Literacy mini-grants program, NAAEE supports partnerships sharing the mutual aquaculture literacy goals of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Education, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and National Sea Grant Office. These mini-grants provide informal learning institutions (e.g., aquariums), aquaculture industry (e.g., shellfish, finfish, seaweed farmers), and NOAA partners with support for the co-development of innovative educational experiences that explore aquaculture topics and support the engagement and advancement of public aquaculture literacy.

Awardees' collaborative projects reach four regions and partner with Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELC) network members as the informal learning institution. Grant activities will focus on the co-production and delivery of essential education and outreach resources to the target audiences served by understanding and discussing aquaculture topics related to their community.

Meet the eeBLUE Aquaculture Awardees!

Atlantic Sea Farms

Kelp to the Kitchen: Bringing Seaweed and Chefs Together, Saco, ME

Atlantic Sea Farms is teaming up with the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, Maine Sea Grant, and New England Ocean Cluster to bring Kelp to the Kitchen for industry professionals. Their project will educate chefs, food-industry personnel, seaweed producers, and the broader public on the culinary uses of domestically grown fresh seaweed. Through cooking demonstrations and workshops, the team will highlight the sustainable nature of Atlantic Sea Farm’s expanding seaweed industry and elevate knowledge of seaweed aquaculture.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Ocean Farmers, Long Beach, CA

The Aquarium of the Pacific, in collaboration with Holdfast Aquaculture and USC-Sea Grant, will provide a foundation for more diverse opportunities to educate broader audiences about marine aquaculture. Focusing on seaweed aquaculture, the project will assess how families learn about seaweed aquaculture through play-based activities for young children. This project will develop an experience for young children to imagine they are ocean farmers, learn about what ocean farming is and looks like, and will evaluate what the kids and their families learn as a result.

Learn more about Ocean Farmers in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

Canopy Farms L3C

Bringing aquaculturists and the public together through the sci-cafe experience, Brunswick, ME

Canopy Farms L3C, and their partners Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, Kaskolos Sea Vegetables, and Maine Sea Grant’s Darling Marine Center, are teaming up to increase aquaculture literacy and seafood consumption by strengthening the reach of the Alternative Seafood Network in coastal Maine communities. Partners will bring aquaculturists into an informal science cafe setting to engage directly with the public about aquaculture’s role in Maine’s coastal economy. This increased knowledge transfer and experience with products and practitioners of the aquaculture industry will build stronger connections between the sector and the communities it serves. 

Learn about Canopy Farms's journey in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees. 

The Cultured Abalone Farm

Abalone Aquaculture Education Pilot Project, Goleta, CA

In a local partnership between the Cultured Abalone Farm, NOAA Fisheries Southwest Fisheries Science Center, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, this project will provide high school students and the general public with the knowledge and experiences necessary to understand the importance of sustainable aquaculture. Partners will co-develop a High School level unit of instruction focused on abalone aquaculture. At the Sea Center, they will provide informal learning experiences to staff and volunteers, and team up with the Sea Center’s exhibit design experts to update their white abalone exhibit. The revamp will help visitors understand the important role aquaculture plays in white abalone restoration.

Learn about The Cultured Abalone Farms' journey in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees. 

Franklin's Promise Coalition

Apalachicola Bay Aquaculture Demonstration Pilot Project, Apalachicola Bay, FL

Franklin’s Promise Coalition and Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will partner with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Aquaculture Division and Rattlesnake Cove Oyster Company to engage a cohort of youth interested in, and prepared for, the aquaculture workforce. Ultimately, the project aims to demonstrate the potential for greater community resilience through aquaculture. By educating local community members about career opportunities, and enhancing and communicating aquaculture education best practices, activities will increase public awareness and literacy for oyster aquaculture in the Apalachicola region. 

Learn about OysterCorps in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group

Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Aquaculture Literacy Program: The Magic of Martha’s Vineyard Oysters, Oak Bluffs, MA

Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, in close partnership with Cottage City Oysters, Martha's Vineyard Museum, Martha's Vineyard Oyster Fest, and NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Fisheries Office, will create an oyster farming education program making the island’s oyster industry accessible to public audiences. Four unique learning experiences will kickstart an aquaculture literacy initiative on the island: educational tours of local oyster farms accompanied by Vineyard biologists, a four-month installation at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum with an accompanying STEM program at the island’s K–12 schools, opportunities at an annual oyster festival taking place in the fall, and hands-on oyster preparation and shucking events with notable local food experts.

Learn about Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group's activities in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

Offshore Optics: Taking a Closer Look at Offshore Aquaculture, Sarasota, FL

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is partnering with Florida Sea Grant and Gulfstream Aquaculture to develop and install a new interactive exhibit at the aquarium that will communicate information about sustainable offshore—or open ocean—aquaculture. Visitors will gain access to learning opportunities at the aquarium itself, and to a community-based educational outreach platform for understanding the importance of offshore aquaculture in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico waters. Improving aquaculture literacy about the complexities of sustainable offshore aquaculture will allow the Sarasota, Florida community, its visitors, and their local government officials to better understand the environmental, social, and economic implications of the sector in their region.

Learn about Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium's journey in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

Ohio Sea Grant

The Story of Yellow Perch: Understanding Ohio's Wild and Farmed Fisheries, Columbus, OH

Ohio Sea Grant will use a common, recognizable species in Ohio and the Great Lakes region, the Yellow Perch, to share the story of aquaculture in their communities. In partnership with Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, Ohio State University’s Aquatic Visitor’s Center at Stone Lab, and the Ohio Aquaculture Association, the project will develop educational displays and materials to increase visitors' understanding of the production systems, including outdoor ponds and indoor aquaponics and recirculating aquaculture systems, that help provide safe and sustainable fish products to local markets and restock fish ponds. Ultimately, the project will enhance the public’s understanding of the role of aquaculture in food security in the region.

Learn about Ohio Sea Grant's journey in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

SEE (Social, Economic, Ecological) Aquaculture-Enhancing Marine Aquaculture Awareness Through Outreach Education, Savannah, GA

University of Georgia Marine Extension and Sea Grant will offer communities in the southeast region opportunities to engage in educational programming explaining the importance of shellfish aquaculture in the 21st century. Through interactive and mobile exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium, the project will provide aquarium visitors with the basic knowledge and understanding necessary to participate in discussions about the social, economic, and ecological implications of shellfish aquaculture. By co-developing materials, partners will build lasting collaborations and the capacity to enhance marine aquaculture awareness through outreach education.

Learn more in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.

University of Maine, Maine Sea Grant, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Aquaculture ME! Supporting Cross-Sector Collaborations in Maine Aquaculture Education, Orono, ME

University of Maine Sea Grant and Maine Cooperative Extension will leverage their existing Aquaculture ME! initiative to expand the reach of their successful model that connects classroom teachers with aquaculture science and industry. Across Maine, aquaculture education offers a unique opportunity to build connections in coastal communities and create job pathways for younger generations. This project will leverage existing resources, forge genuine partnerships, and support creative approaches to enhancing aquaculture literacy in Maine’s communities. Through activities with Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Children’s Museum & Theater of Maine, and Maine Family Farm and Sea Cooperative, partners will build the capacity of educators to offer high-quality aquaculture programming in both formal classroom and informal educational settings. 

Learn more about Aquaculture ME! in Harvest Stories, our monthly blog series featuring eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy grantees.