As a lead scientist of the Great Lakes Aquaculture Center research program and on behalf of the Great Lakes WATER Institute, I am writing this letter in support of the proposed Urban Permaculture Center (UPC). Market demand for perch is high in Wisconsin and the region, reflecting a strong consumer preference for this species. With reduced supplies of wild perch and a healthy commercial market for perch, there is a strong incentive for the development of yellow perch aquaculture.
I have met with Jonathan Bales and Leon Todd to discuss their proposal for an urban aquaculture facility to be located in Milwaukee, on its potential for sustainable perch aquaculture, and its educational value. Their ideas for urban aquaculture development are unique, especially in regards to shifting the emphasis from the traditional rural setting to an urban location. They have selected Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology, which is a complex and “high tech” system. However, it also provides significant advantages such as water conservation, year-round production, a controlled rearing environment, and a substantially reduced environmental impact. In addition, the urban location of the facility is close to its major market and brings the product fresh to the consumer.
Jon and Leon have a great deal of experience in government programming which is critical for the success of this initiative. Additionally, I believe Jon and Leon have assembled the best team of experts to work toward accomplishing their goal of Urban Aquaculture Development. Through our Advisory Services Program, we would be available to provide on-site consultations, and technical assistance and information.
I recommend without reservation that their proposal be included in your 2006 ADD Grant funding program.
Fred Binkowski is Senior Scientist at the Great Lakes WATER Institute(GLWI)in Milwaukee. The GLWI is run by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and will become known as the Harbor Campus. With his many years doing research on yellow perch and sturgeon, Fred has been a valuable partner in determining parameters and protocol for our production facility. Fred and GLWI director Val Klump have been very cooperative and generous in their support of the UAC as a community partner.