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​Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC)

ATS in tank.jpgFunded by: The National Sea Grant College Program


The Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC) project is composed of Sea Grant extension educators and university researchers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois-Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. The interdisciplinary GLAC will address barriers and develop opportunities for aquaculture in the Great Lakes region. The GLAC recognizes the significant economic importance of freshwater quality and sportfishing in the region and that both must be protected. The proposed research and outreach efforts will focus exclusively on land-based aquaculture systems and not those that use waters of the Great Lakes. 

The project's primary goal is to provide relevant, science-based initiatives that support an environmentally responsible, competitive, and sustainable aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region.


  1. Establish the GLAC leadership team, state GLAC advisory groups, and a regional GLAC advisory group
  2. Develop resource-sharing initiatives to identify cutting-edge aquaculture knowledge
  3. Host an annual educational educational/informational event for Great Lakes region aquaculture producers
  4. Identify and address research needs of Great Lakes region aquaculture producers
  5. Quantify consumer demand for specific Great Lakes region aquaculture products
  6. Identify regulatory and policy-related challenges and opportunities for Great Lakes region aquaculture producers
  7. Generate a report with science-based recommendations for sustainable development and expansion of the Great Lakes region aquaculture industry


Phase I Objectives

  1. Establish network leadership to coordinate the team, team initiatives, and to lead future priority setting and proposal development. Form state-level advisory groups and a regional AC advisory group to ensure strong ties to industry to inform research, education, and outreach efforts.
  2. Develop resource-sharing initiatives that identify and screen the best available science supporting the aquaculture industry through a website, listserv, and webinars.
  3. Host an annual aquaculture meeting and/or conference to provide a relevant platform for Great Lakes-based science, research, data gathering, and information sharing with a focus on delivery to the aquaculture industry.

Phase II Objectives

  1. Identify research needs of Great Lakes aquaculture producers and develop strategies to meet those needs.
  2. Quantify consumer demand for Great Lakes aquaculture to provide insight to producers, retailers and policy makers on desired species, attributes, labels and production processes.
  3. Identify policy-related challenges and opportunities through statistical policy analysis and key stakeholder input.
  4. Generate a compilation of science-based recommendations for expanding Great Lakes aquaculture and for dissemination of information by the GLAC.

This is a three-year project; however, we anticipate that once the GLAC and its Advisory Boards are established the successful work that began with this initiative will continue by support from both outside funding and the continued commitment of all the Great Lakes Sea Grant Programs.  


Principal Investigators-

John A. Downing, Director, Minnesota Sea Grant

Don Schreiner, Fisheries Specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant

Marie Thoms, Communication Manager, Minnesota Sea Grant


Co-principal Investigators-

            Stuart Carlton, Assistant Director, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

            Tory Gabriel, Extension Program Leader, Ohio Sea Grant

            Jesse Lepak, Great Lakes Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist, New York Sea



            Trey Malone, Extension Economist, Michigan State University

            Max Malstrom, Natural Resource Economist, Loyola, University

            Elliott Nelson, Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant

            Kwamena Quagrainie, Aquaculture Marketing Specialist, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

            Sean Rafferty, Associate Director, Pennsylvania Sea Grant

            Titus Seilheimer, Fisheries Specialist, Wisconsin Sea Grant

            Emma Weirmaa, Aquaculture Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Sea Grant




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