Upcoming program to focus on future of Conn. shellfishing

Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and the Shellfish Initiative Committee will host “A Vision for the Future of Shellfish in Connecticut” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Courtyard Marriott in Shelton.

The program will showcase the importance of our natural, recreational, and commercial shellfish resources. Topics will include a history of shellfish in Connecticut, shellfish management, federal shellfish initiatives, Connecticut’s industry, shellfish restoration, recreational shellfishing, and next steps for the Connecticut Shellfish Initiative. For information about the shellfish initiative, visit: http://smp.uconn.edu.

Morning speakers will include Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, who will discuss federal shellfish initiatives; and Nick Bellantoni, state archaeologist, who will talk about the history of shellfishing in Connecticut. Afternoon speakers will include representatives of the state’s commercial shellfish industry, who will talk about their livelihoods, and recreational shellfishing, who will discuss what’s involved in providing access to shellfishing in town waters. A discussion about the key priorities identified to date through public meetings and the next steps to be undertaken for this statewide initiative will round out the afternoon.

“People who have a stake in a shellfish business, or enjoy a day digging clams, or who ponder whether oyster reefs could serve as a means to protect our shoreline from storm damage, stand to benefit from a vision for our state’s shellfisheries and shellfish resources,” Tessa Getchis, Sea Grant and UConn extension educator and a member of the group facilitating the effort, said in a news release. “Widespread input to the development of this vision is crucial. And once this ideal view for the future of our shellfisheries and shellfish resources is developed, we need a strategy to get there and that’s why we are hoping to engage as many people as possible to get involved.”

For the agenda with a list of speakers and topics and to make a reservation, visit: http://www.regonline.com/shellfish2014. There is a registration fee of $50 which includes lunch.

For information, contact Getchis at: tessa.getchis@uconn.edu or at: (860) 405-9127.

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