The summit will focus on the next steps to making North Carolina the Napa Valley of oysters.
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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 12 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 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 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Transfer Co. Food Hall.
“This summit is a chance to bring together people who are interested in and care about oyster restoration and mariculture efforts in the state,” says Erin Fleckenstein of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, one of the summit organizers. “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.
The 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.
North Carolina 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 North Carolina General Assembly and submitted 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 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 and Little Environments, PLLC.
Summit registration and reception tickets are available at nccoast.org/oystersummit.
Travel and registration scholarships are available. Preference will be given to waterman and students wishing to attend the summit. Please contact Erin Fleckenstein ([email protected]) by Feb. 22 for more information.
For more information about the summit, contact Erin Fleckenstein at [email protected] or 252-473-1607.
Additional summit sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact Catherine Snead at [email protected] to sponsor the summit.