UGA Shellfish Laboratory
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The Marine Extension Service is a Public Service & Outreach unit of the University of Georgia. It coordinates programs of applied research, advisory services and education from offices in Athens and Atlanta and from facilities in Savannah and Brunswick to extend economic and cultural benefits throughout the state and region.
The Shellfish Research Laboratory is a unit of the Marine Extension Service. It overlooks rich tidal marshland on the north end of Skidaway Island, an interior barrier island outside Savannah, Georgia. Our vision is shaped and diversified by evolving needs on the coast. The region has been experiencing rapid development and a burgeoning population. Consequently, water quality is declining and natural resources are being depleted. Important fisheries have failed, increasing the demand for aquaculture research to enhance native stocks, to develop new aquaculture products and to evaluate new species and technologies. The Shellfish Research Laboratory strives to contribute significant knowledge to the development and promotion of environmentally friendly aquaculture industries, and is also available to assist citizens through the associated permitting, regulations, and licensing process. We have emerged as leaders in the field of marine invasive species, having initiated port surveys, a coastwide monitoring program, and a public campaign to reduce their further spread. The laboratory also coordinates a coastwide volunteer based water quality monitoring program (Adopt-A-Wetland) and the state's first oyster restoration effort (GEORGIA Generating Enhanced Oyster Reefs in Georgia's Inshore Areas).
As we continue to pursue, expand and advance our research and outreach programs in the areas of fisheries management, aquaculture, water quality, habitat restoration and invasive species, we hope to preserve and enhance coastal natural resources and to foster sustainable economic and social growth in the coastal community.
The original building comprised
of an 84m2 analytical laboratory; a 158m2 experimental area housing both raceway
and circular tanks; and four temperature-controlled chambers. A seawater system
pumps water from the adjacent Skidaway River to the laboratory, where it is
filtered and heated or cooled as required. Other facilities include a 170m2
greenhouse designed to meet the stringent requirements for the mass culture
of shellfish seed and algal species. In addition, a number of small vessels
are available for estuarine research projects.
After thrity years of use in a harsh saltwater environment the facility closed its doors and underwent a year long renovation, opening again in the spring 2005. All existing offices and laboratory spaces were upgraded and new additions included: an histology laboratory; seawater plumbing, drains and light control systems for each of the temperature controlled rooms; conference room; water chemistry laboratory; demonstration classroom; microscope room; wet laboratory; ADA bathrooms; new storage rooms; new air system; new electrical system; and the addition of four offices.
Directions to SRL FROM I-16: Exit onto Lynes Parkway East (I-516) to Savannah. This becomes DeRenne Ave. Continue on DeRenne and turn right on Waters. Follow Waters for several miles. It will change names to Whitfield Ave. and then to Diamond Causeway. Cross the drawbridge over the Skidaway River, go past Skidaway Island State Park (on your left), and go through the traffic light. At the four-way stop, turn left onto McWhorter Dr. Continue for 4 miles. The Shellfish Research Lab is to the right of the aquarium (dark red brick building). Parking is free. Handicapped spaces are available in front of the building.
Shellfish Research Laboratory
The University of Georgia
Marine Extension Service
20 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Georgia 31411-1011
Tel: (912) 598-2348, Fax: (912) 598-2399