Delaware Sea Grant to launch thematic webinar series on May 19
On Delaware beaches, locally grown oysters are starting to reappear on menus as high-end products available for purchase. But as the Delaware oyster industry begins to reappear, Delaware Sea Grant seeks to ensure that these aquatic delicacies are available to all Delawarens in equal measure.
With that in mind, DESG will launch its 2021 Delaware Sea Grant Engagement and Exchange Workshops from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, with a webinar focused on regional considerations within food justice in the industry. oysters.
The conference will feature Ed Hale, DESG Marine Advisory Services Specialist and Assistant Professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware, and Cristina Sandolo, MSc Candidate in Professional Ocean Food Systems at the ‘University of New England.
Topics will include current oyster farming efforts underway in Delaware, as well as a description of the region’s oyster fishing history.
Sandolo will also present information related to his recent research on how food justice, which addresses systemic inequalities and racial discrimination in the food system, could be applied to improve equity in corporate ownership, thereby improving the industry potential.
Hale, who is one of Sandolo’s advisers, explained that oysters are generally not uniformly available to all breeds and people, especially in Delaware, where they are mostly found in southern coastal communities and are marketed as a premium product found in the more expensive areas. catering establishments.
“As many of our shellfish growers are still developing their business models, a lot of our shellfish sales are quite localized,” Hale said. “It’s a coastal product. People who are in downtown Wilmington, they probably won’t stand a chance [to get them] and potential urban customers do not know where to get this product or how to get this product.
Making oysters available and accessible to under-represented populations could be a boon for both oyster farmers and these communities. Producers could add new customers, and people who add oysters to their diet will get a healthy, high-protein food that will help clean up the waters of their home country as it grows.
“I see this as a win for both groups,” Hale said. “I hope that participants will come away with some understanding of the current state of shellfish aquaculture in Delaware, what access and availability of food looks like, and potential methods and remedies to address food injustice. . “
This workshop is free and open to the public.
To participate, visit deseagrant.org/events-all/2021/5/19/oyster-food-justice.
DESG’s second engagement and exchange workshop will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21, and will focus on Green Careers: Working for a Sustainable Future.
This workshop will examine the importance of preparing today’s students for future environmental challenges and an ever-changing workforce. David Christopher, Maritime Education Specialist in DESG’s Maritime Advisory Service, will explore green careers – jobs that support the economy and benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. Attendees will learn about green careers from industry people, hear about the opportunities and challenges of green careers in Delaware, and explore the skills and competencies needed for students to be part of the future green workforce.
DESG’s third engagement and exchange workshop, held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, will focus on the Delaware Estuary Oil Spill: What Happens Next?
It will be led by Chris Petrone, director of the DESG Marine Advisory Service, and will examine how more than 1 million gallons of crude oil cross the Delaware Bay and River every day. The estuary has suffered numerous spills over the past 50 years, injuring or killing wildlife, poisoning the water and wreaking havoc on commerce, tourism and recreation. DESG brought together experts in oil spill response and their impacts to help attendees understand the dangers of moving this vital resource through the Delaware Estuary, and how to help with future oil spills. . Although intended for teachers, this workshop will benefit anyone interested in learning more about oil transport and the potential risks to humans and the environment.