Energy Cost Share Program for Aquaculture

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) developed the ERICA program to increase energy efficiency, reduce energy usage, and lower operating costs at commercial aquaculture facilities in Florida.

This grant program is designed to provide grant reimbursement for technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency and renewable energy for eligible commercial aquaculture facilities and farms located in Florida.


Qualified applicants are those applicants who are certified under Section 597.004, Florida Statutes, and have a physical presence in the state of Florida. The applicant must maintain certification throughout the project implementation and the one-year energy data collection period.

Application Process

An application packet consists of the following documents.

FDACS will begin accepting applications on February 19, 2018. The application period will remain open until all funds are expended. Each applicant may submit only ONE application in response to this NOFA.

Please see the NOFA and its attachments for full details regarding program requirements, eligibility and application submittal.

Applications must be submitted in hard copy to:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Energy
ATTN: Florida Energy Technology Cost Share Program – Efficiency and Renewable Improvements in Commercial Aquaculture
600 South Calhoun Street, Room B04
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Direct programmatic questions to Mrs. Gail Stafford at Answers to questions received by 5 p.m. EST each Thursday will be posted by 12 p.m. EST on the following Monday.

Funding Availability

Minimum award: $5,000

Maximum award: $30,000

Total funding available: $1,002,103.33

Cost Share

The grantee cost share amount is 25 percent of grant funds requested.

Frequently Asked Questions [ Adobe PDF Document 194.05 KB ]

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Agricultural Budgeting Webinar, April 5, 2018

An In-Service Training entitled “Intermediate/Advanced Budgeting for Agriculture and Horticulture Enterprises in Florida” will be offered on April 5, 2018, 9am-4pm, via distance education (webinar). Email Alan Hodges at and ask to register for IST (In-Service Training) #31487.

Purpose and Objectives: Budgeting is an important business management technique to estimate costs of production per unit or unit area. Budgets are used by producers to plan production schedules and input purchase requirements, evaluate alternative production practices, assess business risks, determine enterprise mix and product pricing. Budgets are often required by lenders as part of a loan application, and are used by policy makers to understand the impact of various policy choices. UF-IFAS extension personnel and Florida agricultural producers often have only a rudimentary understanding of budgeting. Ideally, budgeting should be done well in advance of any actual production activities. Training on this topic will enable IFAS Extension personnel to better advise commercial clients to more effectively budget for their enterprises, to realize cost control and greater profitability.

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Hatchery Seminar January 17 in Cedar Key

Shellfish Hatchery Experiences with Scott Rickard, Auburn University Shellfish Lab 

A series of workshops / seminars is being conducted to address industry issues in the production of shellfish seed. Hatchery operators and personnel are invited to attend. In this seminar, Scott Rikard with the Auburn University Shellfish Lab will talk about his shellfish hatchery experiences, including the following topics: running a seasonal, outdoor hatchery facility—do’s and don’ts, recent improvements to address production issues, use of commercial algal paste versus live algae cultures, use of containerized spawning system, and optimizing oyster set on micro-cultch. Scott manages the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory on Dauphin Island, Alabama. With 27 years of hatchery experience, Scott oversees both hatchery research activities and commercial production of seed for the growing oyster culture industry in the Gulf of Mexico. His applied approach and practical experiences in setting up and running a hatchery apply to any bivalve shellfish species.

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The 2018 Oyster South Symposium Is Coming!

The Oyster South Symposium (OSS) is being held by Oyster South (a non-profit dedicated to advancing oyster aquaculture in the southern US), in collaboration with National Sea Grant, to bring together producers, gear suppliers, distributors, chefs, food writers, vendors, researchers, students and managers from the southeast region to discuss pressing issues and relevant, practical research on oyster aquaculture on February 9-10, 2018 in Charleston, SC. Registration includes admission to all informational sessions (all day Friday and Saturday morning), all breaks, lunch on Friday, February 9th, a mixer on Friday night, and the trade show. This year’s Symposium will feature talks on remote setting of eyed larvae, hurricane preparation and recovery, useful tools and techniques and a discussion about branding! Don’t miss it!

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Disaster Relief Resources for Aquaculture Producers

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the fact sheet, Disaster Relief for Aquaculture Producers, which summarizes assistance and resources currently available from various agencies.  In addition USDA is hosting several meetings around the state. These meetings have been updated recently and the current link is: Please reach out to the listed contact person for any questions or to determine if attending the meeting would be of benefit to you or your farm.

Red Tide Workshops Rescheduled

The Red Tide Workshop hosted by Florida Sea Grant at the  South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL has been rescheduled for November 7th.  The focus of the meeting will be on the impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and strategies for coping with them. Presenters will include professionals from various state agencies and academic institutions as well as industry members.

The full day workshop (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) aims to increase shellfish production in Florida by fostering communication about how to respond to a harmful algal bloom and how to operate in places where they are prevalent. The meeting will end with an open discussion followed by an on-site reception from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Registration will be limited to 60 people. Click here, or contact Angela Collins ( with any question about the event

Introduction to the Lone Cabbage Oyster Reef Restoration Project

Thursday, October 26, 7:00 p.m.

Community Center, 809 6th Street, Cedar Key

In less than 30 years, 3,000-year-old oyster reefs off Florida’s Big Bend coastline have declined by 88 percent, according to University of Florida/IFAS researchers. For residents who depend on the fishing grounds and other coastal resources protected by these reefs, it’s a worrying trend. Now, with an award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, a UF/IFAS research team will work to restore these shrinking oyster reefs and help coastal ecosystems and economies become more resilient in the face of climate change and rising tides.  The “Recovery and Resilience of Oyster Reefs in the Big Bend of Florida” project will target the Lone Cabbage reef chain in the Suwannee Sound. The UF/IFAS team plans to restore up to 32 acres (encompassing about 3 linear miles) of reef.

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Hurricane Irma Resource Information

One of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes in recent history, Hurricane Irma proved to be a fierce storm that left behind a path of destruction through Florida, from the Keys to Jacksonville and many areas in between. Many of Florida’s shellfish producing counties have been affected by the storm and assessment of losses is ongoing. Below is a summary of resource information being released through our state and federal agriculture agencies. More information will be posted as it is forthcoming.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Response

According to a USDA News Release dated September 13, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced special procedures to assist producers who lost crops or had other damage to their farms as a result of the recent hurricanes. Also, because of the severe and widespread damage caused by the hurricanes, USDA will provide additional flexibility to assist farm loan borrowers.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), is authorizing emergency procedures on a case-by-case basis to assist impacted borrowers, livestock owners, contract growers, and other producers. The measures announced apply only to counties impacted by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-determined tropical storm, typhoon, or hurricane, including Harvey and Irma that have received a primary Presidential Disaster Declaration and those counties contiguous to such designated counties.

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Follow the Big Bend Shellfish Trail

The Big Bend Shellfish Trail and Map was produced with a grant award of $20,000 received by the Levy County Board of County Commission. One of five collaborative grants awarded across the Big Bend counties—Dixie, Jefferson, Levy, and Taylor—the funding encouraged partnerships to strengthen the region’s economic vitality while simultaneously ensuring the ongoing health of its natural resources. “A number of partners participated in the creation of Florida’s first Shellfish Trail and the largest trail of its kind in the United States. This project showcases our working waterfront communities and encourages economic growth in Levy County and in the Big Bend Region,” said Levy County Commissioner John Meeks.

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Red Tide Stinks! Workshop on Strategies for Dealing with Harmful Algal Blooms

Florida Sea Grant and the Gulf Shellfish Institute are hosting an upcoming workshop for the southwest Florida shellfish industry. This workshop aims to bring together industry, scientists and regulators to discuss shellfish industry challenges as related to harmful algal blooms.

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm at the South Florida Museum, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34205. Registration and coffee open at 8:30 am. Lunch will be provided on site.  An evening reception will follow the workshop from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, also at the South Florida Museum.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Angela Collins, Florida Sea Grant Extension,