40 Years of Work with Shoreside Industries
and Communities
Watershed Stewards meeting sign.  Photograph, Daniel Pendick

THE FIRST SEA GRANT EMPLOYEE in Maryland was an Extension agent hired to work with the seafood industry. Since then Sea Grant has kept expanding its outreach efforts, adding Extension agents and specialists who now provide many of the state's Tidewater industries and communities with training, technical information, and environmental planning help.

Preventing invasions of non-indigenous species

To counter the threat of nonnative species, Maryland Sea Grant has developed projects and publications designed to guide prevention efforts and to recruit key audiences like sports fishers into anti-invasive campaigns. The program helped shape frameworks for reducing the spread of zebra mussels, Chinese "mitten" crabs, and other invasive aquatic species which can disrupt food webs and cause economic harm. A Maryland Sea Grant publication edited by Fredrika Moser and Merrill Leffler summarized those action frameworks in Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species in the Mid-Atlantic: Outcome-Based Actions in Vector Management. In addition, Extension specialists spearheaded a pilot project that works with bait shop owners to educate sports fishers about the safe disposal of the seaweed used to package bloodworm bait. Seaweed is a common means for accidentally spreading nonnative snails, mites, and crabs into new water systems

Ensuring food safety for Maryland seafood products

Thomas Rippen and Cathy Liu, seafood technology specialists with Maryland Sea Grant, helped train workers in the seafood processing industry in best practices for avoiding microbial contamination in products such as pasteurized crabmeat. Extension specialists also developed new technologies for processing seafood, including a technique for flash freezing blue crab that helped Maryland's seafood industry gain a competitive marketing edge.

Training volunteers to develop stormwater projects

Specialists with Maryland Sea Grant Extension worked to establish Watershed Stewards Academies around Maryland which train community leaders to develop stormwater control projects. Academies now serve Anne Arundel, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, and St. Mary's Counties. Since 2009, 340 participants have been certified as master watershed stewards.

40th Anniversary Issue
Visit Our Blogs
What's next for oyster aquaculture
A decade ago, Donald Webster could count the number of oyster farms in the state of Maryland on two hands. By Rona Kobell.
From the Water to Washington: Connecting Experiences in DC and Coastal Communities
In graduate school, I found it easy to find the impact and context of my fisheries research. By Gray Redding .
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