Shellfish Aquaculture Research Field Station

Sunray Venus Clam story for Explore Magazine.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.Adjacent to the FWC Marine Laboratory in Cedar Key is the Shellfish Aquaculture Research and Education Facility which serves as a field station for UF research and extension faculty. Funding for this facility was provided in 2002 through a special research grant awarded to the UF Agricultural Experiment Station by the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The facility accommodates various research projects pertaining to shellfish aquaculture through other funding opportunities. Since the facility is conveniently located just 60 miles west of UF’s main campus in Gainesville, faculty and graduate students utilize it as a remote field station. The 1,400 square foot “pole-barn” structure sits atop of a pile-supported dock over a saltwater tidal creek. Located on county property, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners provides support for this facility through a lease agreement with the university. An excellent source of sea water is available from a deep water channel through a delivery system consisting of submersible pumps and dual intake lines. The design of the facility emphasizes versatility to address multiple needs. Water filtration components, plumbing and fiberglass tanks of several sizes are installed to allow for the greatest amount of flexibility to accommodate various projects. The facility also supports educational efforts. For example, a “shore-based” clam farming exhibit promotes understanding of the industry by school, 4-H, and other groups.