Aquaponics Offers Safe Alternative to Seafood Threatened by Mounting Levels of Ocean Pollution

Aquaponic experts from across the U.S. will offer sustainable solutions to growing fish and vegetables at home or in commercial farms at Aquaponics Association National Conference Sept. 20-22 in Tucson, AZ

Aquaponics_Conf_Logo_200Tucson, AZ, August 29, 2013 –/WORLD-WIRE/– With news spreading that 56 percent of fish tested off the coast off Japan this June were contaminated with radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, fish lovers can look to aquaponics as an alternative option for raising their own fish at home that are safe to eat and provide an ongoing source of protein.

Aquaponics – the growing of fish and plants together in recirculating systems – has been taking off across the U.S. by home and commercial-scale farmers who have found the technique to produce significantly more produce than conventional soil-based growing techniques while using up to 90 percent less water.  

People wanting to learn how to grow their own local food with aquaponics or start an aquaponics business, can hear from 30 experts at the 2013 Aquaponics Association National Conference in Tucson, AZ from September 20-22.

“Aquaponic systems work for home and community-scale production,” says JD Sawyer, founder of Colorado Aquaponics, a Denver-based company that runs a neighborhood-scale aquaponics farm located in a Denver “food desert.”  

“Aquaponics provides an ongoing local food source, income generation, and increased sustainability,” adds Sawyer who offers aquaponic educational programs for people and groups who want to take charge of their own food production.

Featured speakers at the 2013 Aquaponics Association National Conference include Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, author of eight books, including The Sheer Ecstasy of Being A Lunatic Farmer and Folks, and This Ain’t Normal; Max Meyers, Ecological Designer, Permaculture Teacher, and Executive Director of the Mendocino Ecological Learning Center in California and Nor Cal Aquaponics; James R. Hollyer, Project Manager and Farm Food Safety Coach, College of Tropical Agriculture, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Gene Giacomelli, Professor of Ag and Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) at
the University of Arizona, Tucson.  A full list of Conference speaker bios can be found at this link.

Aquaponics integrates two growing systems: aquaculture or fish farming, and hydroponics, growing plants without the need of soil into one symbiotic system. Water is re-circulated in a constructed setting that mimics a dynamic pond-like eco-system. The result is a balanced environment that utilizes natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients.

Reflecting national trends, this year’s workshop topics are organized by subject area, including Commercial Aquaponics, Community Aquaponics, Home Aquaponic Gardening, Sustainability/Off-Grid, Fish and Plants.

Sample sessions include:
•    Harnessing Sustainability to Uplift Communities
•    Aquaponics as a Teaching Model in a High School Biology Class
•    Lets Get Real: 10,000 lbs. of Fish Per Year and 200,000 Heads of Lettuce
•    An Engineers View of Recirculating Aquaculture and Aquaponic Systems
•    Building Resilient Food Systems Using the Skills and Materials Common to Our Communities
•    Commercial Aquaponics: A Technology Roadmap For Scaling Up
•    Growing Food in a Food Desert.

Click here for a full list of breakout sessions.

In addition to presentations and workshops, the 2013 Aquaponics Association National Conference will offer tours of Tucson aquaponic operations. Tour sites include: the University of Arizona Controlled Agriculture Environment Center (CEAC), Manzo Elementary, Local Roots Aquaponics, Casey Townsend’s Urban Homestead, and Eco Gro. Click here for descriptions of tour sites.

The 2013 Aquaponics Conference will take place at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson. On September 1st, the Conference individual registration fee will increase from $395 to $445 for Aquaponics Association members and from $440 to $490 for non-members.

About Aquaponics
The practice of aquaponics has ancient roots in China, Egypt, India, Thailand, and by the Aztec people who cultivated agricultural islands known as “Chinampas.” The modern technique of growing fish and plants synergistically became popular in the past several years largely in response to pressing issues, such as food security and food independence, healthy and organic produce, local and sustainable food growing, food safety, and water conservation.

About The Aquaponic Association
Established in 2011, the Aquaponics Association was founded to promote aquaponics in North America. Major efforts for this emerging industry include educating others about the benefits and safety of aquaponically-grown food, creating micro-grant opportunities and to serve as an educational resource for both commercial-scale aquaponics farmers and home-based aquaponic growers. The Aquaponics Association is currently developing research for the rapidly growing commercial aquaponic industry regarding food safety and farm food safety practices. More information is available at: www.aquaponicsassociation.org.

Media Contact
Neshama Abraham
303.413.8066
Neshama@abrahampaiss.com

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