It was a great day for President Cindy Kelley's first time to preside over a meeting as President of RCSE.  The club drew for a new charity of the quarter and the winner was Social Apostolate of Savannah!  Laura Lane spoke during Rotary Business items about GRSP student Brendan Mungwena and his desire to stay in the US in order to further his education.  If you are willing to donate money to his cause, please contact Kerri or Laura Lane for the donation information.  Once all was discussed, Ed Hissam introduced Shannon Kirk, a graduate student studying off bottom cultured oysters in the lowcountry.  
 
Eastern oysters receive their nutrients through water flowing through it.  There has been a drastic decline in the oyster population due to over fishing, disease, and pollution.  Hatchery production is being introduced as a way to help bring the industry back.  Georgia's first and only oyster hatchery is at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.  The goal was to produce 5-7 million oysters by the end of 2018 and they have already surpassed that goal!  One method they are using is floating cages to culture the oysters.  The oysters are suspended in nutrient rich water columns which allows them to have continuous water flow as well as reduce the risk of predators.  
 
Shannon is focusing her research on biofouling which involves aerial drying and fouling release coatings.  She has three study sites: Wassaw, St Helena, SC, and Core Sound, NC.  She is looking at drying at all three sites with each site having 10,800 oysters.  The oysters are growing quickly and the Georgia oysters are of high quality.  The feedback Shannon has received is that the growers are pleased with the results.    
 
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