Ventura Port District seeks NOAA grant for aquaculture initiative

Ventura Port District’s Board of Port Commissioners submitted a grant application to support an aquaculture initiative in one of the busiest harbors on California’s Central Coast.

The federal grant would provide the Ventura Port District with $400,000 – with a $200,000 in-kind or monetary match – in funding, for up to three years, to expand sustainable marine aquaculture in the harbor.

Port district staff, in a letter to California Sea Grant officials, stated the funding would support Ventura Harbor’s efforts to develop a Mediterranean mussel farm.

“Our innovative project seeks to secure all required federal, state and local permits and entitlements for twenty 100-acre mussel farm parcels that will use submerged long line technology,” port district staff stated in its grant application letter. “At full production, the project will produce an estimated annual yield of 22-25 million pounds of Mediterranean mussels.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant Program would provide funding.

Ventura Port District received similar funding for aquaculture initiatives in 2015.

The grant funding would help Ventura Port District complete its environmental review process, work through permitting and lease terms, conduct educational outreach and strategize stakeholder support and participation.

Grant funding would help the port district begin initial mussel production in 2022.

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