Fishermen's Alliance invests in ARC
The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance is working with Senator Dan Wolf on one of the region's most significant public-private partnerships that will protect 39 acres of land in Dennis and ensure a thriving future for one of the country’s most important shellfish hatcheries, the Aquacultural Research Corporation.
The Hatchery and Conservation Project at Chase Garden Creek will involve state and county support, as well as proposed support from the towns of Dennis and Yarmouth. On the private side, several conservation organizations and fishing industry nonprofits have made significant financial and resource commitments. Individual donors and investors are also joining the effort - if you are interested in learning more, please call our office at 508-945-2432.
"This project will help ensure a vital Cape Cod and a sustainable waterfront environment," says Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf. "It is part of the vision of Cape Cod that I think is exciting so many people right now. And the more people who want to get involved and collaborate, on whatever level they can, the better."
"Through a conservation restriction, this project will protect nearly 40 acres of barrier beach and critical marine habitat in perpetuity, while also preserving the only commercial hatchery in Massachusetts," says Bill Clark, director of the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. "These outcomes will benefit current and future generations in our community in many, many ways."
"As a full-time shellfish grower, a local shellfish hatchery is the most critical component to my business," says Wellfleet oyster grower Andrew Cummings. "Not only is ARC my sole seed supplier, but it's also the primary producer of shellfish for the vast majority of shellfish growers on Cape Cod and coastal Massachusetts."
The project will modernize the hatchery as well as protect the critical habitat and beautiful coastal land around it. It will:
- conserve valuable coastal dunes, wetlands and tidal flats,
- preserve Cape-based jobs and livelihoods,
- ensure a reliable source of clam and oyster seed for use in aquaculture businesses, as well as town programs that provide shellfish beds for both commercial and recreational use,
- provide spat-on-shell for towns to use to create oyster reefs in order to increase shellfish habitat and science-based water quality improvement to help meet wastewater pollution goals,
- establish a venue for aquaculture and restoration research, and
- create a Cape Cod-based location for the education of future shellfish growers and practitioners.
It is estimated that the hatchery supports more than 1,400 regional jobs in commercial shellfishing and the seafood industry, as well as 17,000 recreational fishermen. Demand for oysters and clams is growing, and through our involvement in this project, we seek to create a world class hatchery to serve the future of Cape Cod.
Press on the ARC announcement: