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2019 North Carolina Oyster Summit set for March 12

Oyster growers, fishermen, government officials, lawmakers, academics and conservation interests will gather to taste and learn more about 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 N.C. 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 to 7:30 p.m. at Transfer Co. Food Hall, also in downtown Raleigh.

“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 progress in advancing shellfish efforts in the state. North Carolina has achieved goals that address habitat creation and water quality protection, developed a strategic shellfish mariculture plan and conducted the policy, research and planning that help to make such progress possible.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation and partners — North Carolina Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries — organized the forum.

N.C. DEQ Secretary Michael Regan will provide opening remarks.

A series of panel presentations will explore the recommendations of the recently completed state Strategic Mariculture Plan that was requested by and submitted to the N.C. General Assembly 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. For the summit, the fee is $125. For the legislative reception only, the ticket is $50. The site also provides the event agenda. Registration deadline is March 8.

For more information about the summit, contact Erin Fleckenstein at erinf@nccoast.org or 252-473-1607.

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