Completed in 2022, the Acuff Center for Aquaculture is a 22,000-square-foot shellfish hatchery that supports collaborative research, education, and advisory teams within VIMS’ Shellfish Aquaculture Program. The building has an expansive, open floorplan allowing flexibility to meet the changing research and husbandry needs of many users, with capacity for shellfish spawning, larval culture and setting, as well as a specialized algae and broodstock rooms, 4 labs, 4 offices, and a workshop. There is ample space to accommodate hundreds of distinct shellfish cultures in their early life stages, from spawning through settlement. State-of-the-art seawater filtration and climate-control systems maintain optimal conditions for ripening broodstock, culturing shellfish larvae, and growing microalgae for feeding animals throughout the facility.
The Acuff Center will serve as a resource for not only researchers and educators (including the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC) and a variety of other VIMS investigators) but for stakeholders and partnering organizations in the aquaculture industry as well. The collaborative efforts of these groups to advance and support a thriving, sustainable shellfish aquaculture community make up the VIMS Shellfish Aquaculture Science Initiative (SALT-SI). This initiative will help answer questions and solve problems in shellfish aquaculture through globally relevant science, outreach, and education.
The facility honors the exceptional leadership and generosity of A. Marshall Acuff, Jr. ’62, L.H.D. ’07, P ’93 on VIMS’ behalf, and is named for the Acuff family.
Plan a visit: The Acuff Center at VIMS’ Gloucester Point campus will be open for public tours beginning in June. Please contact [[v|programs]] or the VIMS Public Tours page for more information.