Aquariums, seafood farmers and others working on public education for aquaculture in the United States can now apply for support through a new grant scheme.
The eeBLUE Aquaculture Literacy mini-grants are part of a partnership with NOAA and the North American Association for Environmental Education and provide applicants with up to US$15,000 to spend within a one year project.
“For these first of their kind mini-grants, we’re looking for innovative ideas that will engage communities on aquaculture, correct common misconceptions about seafood farming, and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable aquaculture for our economy and national food security,” said Brianna Shaughnessy, NOAA aquaculture education coordinator.
Consumer and community understanding of aquaculture is key to achieving the full benefits of aquaculture and seafood farming. However, research by the University of Maine has shown that aquaculture literacy is low.
To counter this NOAA has been working since 2017 with outreach groups on an initiative aimed at improving public awareness of seafood farming and its benefits and challenges. This work happens through the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELC) Network, a consortium of 25 aquariums and marine science education centres across North America.
To increase collaboration NOAA hosted a workshop last November bringing together aquariums, industry members and environmental educators to help inform the mini-grant priorities.