RCC, Lifelong Learning and VIMS to Present Bay Restoration Course

Anyone interested in protecting our Chesapeake Bay will want to attend “Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts” from the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL) and the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS). Because of the complexity and importance of the subject, it will be divided into four sessions instead of the usual three: March 7, 14, 21, and 28 (Wednesdays), from 1 to 3 p.m. at the VIMS facility in Gloucester Point.

This course will highlight research conducted at VIMS that is helping to restore sharks, mollusks, and habitats of the Chesapeake Bay. In the first session, Dr. Robert Orth will talk about the regrowth of underwater grasses in the Bay, which has made possible efforts to restore the population of bay scallops. During the second session, Dr. Stan Allen will discuss improving the economics of oyster harvesting through aquaculture, as well as the possibility and the difficulties of restoring oysters in the wild. The third session will focus on the status of shark populations in the mid-Atlantic. Dr. Robert Latour will give an overview of the Virginia Shark Monitoring and Assessment Program and will present recent findings that suggest several shark species in the Atlantic are showing signs of recovery. Each of these sessions will be followed by a discussion period with the presenting scientist. In the fourth and final session, participants will tour the Institute to get an inside look at its laboratories and the restoration efforts taking place there.

Dr. Stan Allen holds the degrees of bachelor of science from Franklin and Marshall College and master of science from the University of Maine, and a doctorate from the University of Washington. He is the director of the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center at VIMS, which houses the largest breeding program for oysters in the United States. Dr. Robert Orth holds the degrees of bachelor of arts from Rutgers University, master of science in marine biology from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in zoology from the University of Maryland. His research focuses on the ecology and restoration of seagrasses, and he directs the largest and most successful seagrass restoration project in the world. Dr. Robert Latour holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Western New England College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in biomathematics from North Carolina State University. His research focuses on quantitative fisheries ecology and stock assessment. He oversees several large monitoring and assessment surveys of fisheries, including the longest-running study of shark populations in the world.


Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $45, is required to take this course. For more information on “Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707) or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.


The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury and to Virginia Commonwealth Bank’s Golden Advantage program for their generous support of RILL in 2018.