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Exploring new and inclusive business models to expand oyster aquaculture, ecosystem restoration, and smallholder farmer livelihoods the Lynnhaven River

Research Location: Lynnhaven, VA, USA
Conservation Partners: Brinc co-founder, Bay McLaughlin

Faculty Mentors
Dr. John Swaddle, Graham Henshaw, Dr. Mark W. Luckenbach, and Dr. Bill Walton
Student Researcher

Grace Dho, '23 Major: Biology, Major: Environmental Science

Project Description
Despite the success that collaborative stakeholders have had in restoring oysters in the Lynnhaven River in recent decades, the rate at which this restoration is occurring is not keeping pace with the rapid degradation of these systems. Effective and sustainable oyster restoration in the Lynnhaven river will require new models that balance the restoration of important ecosystems with sustainable aquaculture businesses. There are several new and emerging business models that have the potential to improve the inclusion of small business owners and effective conservation practices, but these new business models have yet to have been applied to oyster aquaculture. Grace will be working with oyster farmers and restaurant owners in the Lynnhaven region to explore unique business models that promote sustainable and conservation-focused oyster aquaculture and marketing that engages customers in the sustainable consumption of oysters.
Project ID - Format
22-018-22 - CRP Year