FWC’s Aquaculture in the Classroom has another successful year thanks to collaboration with Duke Energy Florida and Coastal Conservation Association 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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June 5, 2024

Suggested post: The @MyFWC brings Aquaculture in the Classroom with partners Duke Energy and Coastal Conservation Association: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/3a0d7cc #Florida #aquaculture #fishraising 

FWC’s Aquaculture in the Classroom has another successful year thanks to collaboration with Duke Energy Florida and Coastal Conservation Association 

For over two decades, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Marine Stock Enhancement Research team has been working with school administrators, teachers and students to bring Aquaculture and Stock Enhancement Research into the classroom. The Aquaculture in the Classroom program is designed for students ranging from fifth grade through college. The program teaches students the basic principles of aquaculture, marine research and how stock enhancement plays a role in supporting Florida’s marine fisheries. 

Over the past two years, the FWC has teamed up with Duke Energy’s Crystal River Mariculture Center and the Coastal Conservation Association Florida, which generously provided hatchery-reared red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) fingerlings to several participating schools along with the Energy and Marine Center in Pasco County. 

Through this innovative collaboration, hatchery-reared red drum fingerlings, starter feed and technical advice on how to raise fingerlings in the classroom are provided to schools participating in the Aquaculture in the Classroom program. Information on system development and grant opportunities are also provided. FWC biologists work with teachers to develop curriculum that meets Florida Sunshine State Standards and provides students the opportunity to design aquaculture (fish-raising) systems, perform daily animal husbandry (care) routines and conduct research projects, such as salinity tolerance tests, feed studies and water quality/chemistry investigations. 

Since this program began in 2001, more than 30 Florida schools have successfully reared red drum in the classroom. This past year, nine schools participated statewide and 625 red drum fingerlings were distributed. 

To learn more about the program, or to refer a teacher or school, contact Gina.Russo@MyFWC.com. 

The Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River is a multispecies hatchery that has cultivated and released nearly 5 million fish and crustaceans since 1991. The center is designed to help protect and responsibly manage natural resources, and contribute to the vitality of local communities. Each year, the center raises up to 100,000 redfish and spotted seatrout, and releases them into the Gulf of Mexico to support year-round fishing. 

Coastal Conservation AssociationFlorida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of Florida’s marine resources. The purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Its objective is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of those coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

staff putting fingerlings in buckets for transport

Partners from CCA and Duke Energy Florida work together to deliver hatchery-reared red drum fingerlings to the Energy and Marine Center in Port Richey.

staff and students in front of truck

CCA in partnership with Duke Energy Florida delivered 150 red drum fingerlings to Stambaugh Middle School in Auburndale. 

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