Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | June 23, 2013

June 24, 2013 Join Host Kathleen Marshall in Conversation with Erika Blackwell About Aquaculture and the Humboldt Aquaculture Innovation Center

Erika Guevara Blackwell I did a double take when I first laid eyes on Erika Blackwell.  I’d read about the Humboldt Aquaculture Innovation Center in Humboldt County’s weekly news magazine, The Journal.  The Center sounded intriguing, and I imagined the woman behind it all to wear power suits in somber colors.  What I found was a warm, unassuming and absolutely charming woman with power vision, drive and know-how, rather than power attire.

In this week’s interview Erika explains what aquaculture is, and how she took her idea of an aquaculture center and ran with it.  Her enthusiasm and hard work have resulted in a multi-agency, collaborative effort with a pilot project in the works.  Her plan includes opportunities for entrepreneurial fish farming, aquaponic vegetable farming, innovative research and eco-tourism. And a key concept is sustainability, both economically and environmentally.

Erika graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Marine Biology.  After graduating she had an idea and pursued its development with an enthusiastic determination to create something new and exciting.  She commissioned HSU students to do pre-feasability research, she pursued funding and built collaborative relationships with individuals, institutions and agencies, such as the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District which now employs Erika on a part-time basis as the project coordinator.

Erika speaks eloquently about the benefits, and the challenges, of aquaculture, and of the chosen site for development:  the now closed site of the former Freshwater Tissue company, the Samoa Pulp Mill.

Humboldt Aquaculture Innovation Center

For more information about the Humboldt Aquaculture Innovation Center visit their Facebook page or call the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District at (707) 443-0801.

To listen to Kathleen Marshall’s Conversation with Erika Blackwell click the following link     6-24-2013 Kathy Erika Blackwell Aquaculture Innovation Center mono

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