The ongoing quest to make North Carolina the world’s Napa Valley of oysters will be on full display in March.
Oyster growers, fishermen, government officials, lawmakers, academics, and conservation interests will gather to learn more about and even taste the state’s oysters and other shellfish during the 2019 North Carolina Oyster Summit.
Set for Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 9am-5pm, at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC), participants will discuss how to establish the state as the epicenter of a rapidly expanding worldwide movement promoting the growth and consumption of oysters. A reception will follow 5:30-7:30pm at Transfer Co. Food Hall, 500 E Davie Street, Raleigh, NC.
Says Erin Fleckenstein of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, one of the summit organizers:
“This summit is a chance to bring together people who are interested in and care about oyster restoration and mariculture efforts in the state. We’ll celebrate the great progress that has been made in our state over the past two years and start to chart the course for what comes next.”
The summit will illustrate the progress that has been made to advance shellfish efforts in the state, including achieving goals that address habitat creation and water quality protection to developing a strategic shellfish mariculture plan and the policy, research and planning that help to make it all possible.
NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan will provide opening remarks at the summit. Regan has demonstrated the department’s commitment to restoring wild oyster populations, growing the state’s mariculture industry and promoting clean coastal waters by announcing in 2018 the state’s participation in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Shellfish Initiative.
A series of panel presentations will explore the recommendations of the recently completed Strategic Mariculture Plan that was requested by and submitted to the General Assembly in December. Also planned is an important discussion on the value of clean water to ensure the continued success of all restoration, rehabilitation and mariculture efforts.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation and partners, North Carolina Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, organized the forum. The summit is sponsored in part by:
- Albemarle Pamlico National Estuary Partnership
- Grady White Boats
- the Kenan Institute
- Restoration Systems
- Rob Lamme & Associates
- The Nature Conservancy
- North Carolina Sea Grant
- Fred Adams Paving
- Backwater Environmental
- Little Environments, PLLC
Summit registration and reception tickets ($50-$125 through March 8) are available at nccoast.org/oystersummit.
For more information about the summit, contact Erin Fleckenstein via email or call 252.473.1607.
Additional summit sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Catherine Snead at email to sponsor the summit.
Source: Patricia Smith, NC Division of Marine Fisheries