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algae culture library
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Biotechnology Branch Chief Gary Wikfors talks about the Milford Lab's alage culture library with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut (right) during a June 30 tour of the facility. Photo credit:George Sennefelder, NEFSC/NOAA.
media surround Sen. Murphy
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Members of the Connecticut news media follow Senator Murphy (right) into the fish culture lab during his tour of the Milford Laboratory. Photo credit: George Sennefelder, NEFSC/NOAA.
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The senator had a chance to view mussel larvae under a microscope in one of the lab's hatcheries. Photo credit: George Sennefelder, NEFSC/NOAA.

July 7, 2015
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Connecticut Senator Visits Milford Lab

Milford Laboratory had an opportunity to showcase some of its research June 30 when Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy visited the facility during a “listening tour” and visit to areas and organizations along Long Island Sound. The NEFSC's Science and Research Director Bill Karp, Acting Milford Lab Director Tom Noji, Biotechnology Branch chief Gary Wikfors, and research ecologist Julie Rose welcomed the senator to the Lab.

After a brief introduction to the history of the Milford Laboratory and its research, Gary Wikfors and Julie Rose led the visitors through the facility. The senator had an opportunity to talk with staff members during the tour and had a variety of questions, many focused on the ways in which the lab’s research supports Connecticut aquaculture but also regarding sources of funding to support the lab’s work.

Among the areas he visited were the algae culture library and algae mass culture system, the shellfish (oysters, mussels and scallops) and finfish (black sea bass) hatcheries, and the tank farm. Staff spoke with Sen. Murphy about mass culturing of aquaculture species, ocean acidification, and shellfish disease and biofuels research conducted by industry collaborators.

“The Senator is passionate about the Connecticut aquaculture industry and was genuinely interested in the science conducted at the Milford Laboratory, and particularly how our research helps the shellfish industry,” said Tom Noji, who is also acting chief of the NEFSC's Aquaculture and Enhancement Division. “It was a great opportunity to showcase our science and underscore that the Milford Lab was supported from day one of its 90-year history by the Connecticut shellfish industry, and through their support and that of the federal government became the birthplace of modern day aquaculture.”

Check out some of the news coverage and images of the visit at Fox CT, Stamford Advocate and CT Post.

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