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Coastal Topics Catalog: Aquaculture

research projects
Enhancement of Aquaculture Management in Virginia
This project is intended to develop policy and management recommendations for the Virginia General Assembly and VMRC regarding aquaculture in estuarine and coastal waters.

Oyster Reef Restoration Targeting
This project uses GIS to select sites within Virginia Chesapeake Bay bottom suitable for the construction of oyster reefs. The project supports ongoing Baywide oyster reef restoration activities. Protocols for selection include: suitable substrate composition, public grounds, appropriate salinity, and disease resistant waters. Final products include a series of maps delineating the suitable sites. Products are currently hardcopy only, but a website is planned.

Shallow Water Resource Use Conflicts: Clam Aquaculture and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
This project was designed to assess the potential conflict of subaqueous bottom land use by SAV and hard clam aquaculture in a region of current intensive aquaculture.

Shellfish TMDLs
There were two important goals for this project, including the assembly and compilation of digital data for the Coastal Plain and tidal waters of Virginia, and the categorization of the Division of Shellfish Sanitation (DSS) shellfish growing areas to determine if some are similar enough for water quality models to be effectively transferred from the modeled growing areas to other areas. This report summarizes the data and statistical analyses and discusses the results.

science publications
Improving Siting and Construction Criteria for Oyster Reef Restoration
A publication that investigates oyster reef restoration efforts and ways to increase their success.

map products
Aquaculture Vulnerability Model
This study uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to model risks to shellfish aquaculture.

Assessment of Aquaculture Potential Within Baylor Grounds in the Lower Rappahannock River
The suitability for using public Baylor grounds for aquaculture is being explored through a GIS based analysis to determine if areas could support aquaculture given current condition and surrounding land-use.

Historic Oyster Reef Mapping for Virginia Primary Tributaries
Historic bathymetric charts dating back to the 1800s and including major tributaries in Virginia are being digitized using ArcInfo. Bathymetric soundings from the mid to late 1800s suggest that bathymetric highs within the rivers may represent historic oyster reefs. Using the triangular integrated network (TIN) model to develop three dimensional representations of these relief areas, the structures appears to be elongated, elliptical or dome shaped. Bottom sampling from the early 1970s reveal that many of these are associated with shell bottom providing some verification that they were oyster reefs. Today, these reefs are gone from Virginia’s tributaries. This ongoing project to reconstruct the distribution of reefs in history may assist in understanding the demise of these habitats and ensure the success of future restoration efforts. See final report at: http://ccrm.vims.edu/pubs/ReefRestRpt.pdf

Shellfish Aquaculture Suitability Model
Using GIS, a landscape model will be developed to delineate areas suitable for shellfish aquaculture. This model will consider physical and biological parameters associated with good shellfish growing areas, as well as upland land use considerations that can enhance or impede the success of an aquaculture operation. The model will be developed using GIS and final products will include an interactive mapping site to display the suitable areas. This project expands on earlier efforts to explore shallow water use conflicts in Virginia.

Waterfront Development and Potential Impacts to Aquatic Habitat: A Planning Tool for Evaluating Resource Sensitivity
This project considers specific criteria in a waterfront landscape that collectively appraise the potential risk of development to sensitive aquatic resources. The protocol evaluates conditions on the landscape based on three major categories: existing land use, impacts to sensitive habitat, and potential impacts to water quality.