East Coast Shellfish Research Institute

ECSGA members rely heavily on the research community to help answer vexing questions about disease, public health and our industry's interactions with the environment. We are fortunate to have the support of excellent scientists from around the world.

In an effort to focus some of that scientific talent and energy, in 2007 we formed the East Coast Shellfish Research Institute (ECSRI): a 501-C3 non-profit corporation. The ECSRI is dedicated to researching issues that impact our industry, while the ECSGA works to ensure that funding is made available to support that research.

The ECSRI Board of Directors includes one member from each East Coast State and is composed of growers, researchers, extension agents and environmentalists. John Kraeuter serves as Executive Director. In 2008 the board conducted an extensive web-based survey in which ECSGA industry members were asked to identify high-priority research areas.

In 2008 the ECSRI secured around $730,000 in federal funds to conduct four research projects:

1) Shellfish cultivation effects on habitat
Ongoing
Milford, CT
Principal Investigator: Ron Goldberg;

2) Environmental impacts associated with clam culture under predator netting
Starting Summer 2009
NJ, VA
Principal Investigator: John Kraeuter;

3) Evaluation of the heavy metal content in cultured clams and oysters from East Coast populations
Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI
Principal Investigator: Dale Leavitt;

4)Shellfish RI 2008: Vibrio parahemolyticus surveillance in the Northeast US
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Principal Investigators: Marta Gómez-Chiarri, David Bengtson, and Michael Rice;

In 2009 we were able to attract another $244,000 which was used to start a project that will attempt to identify the genetic basis for disease resistance in oysters.
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Principal Investigators: Marta Gómez-Chiarri, Dina Proestou, Chris Lane