In partnership with Aquaponics Project Inc., a nonprofit focused on environmentally sustainable agriculture solutions to address food security, another exciting and innovative project is underway at CBEC.
The “Community Agriculture Initiative for Sustainability” project has broken ground and includes a variety of components that make it unique.
The farming technique being implemented is aquaponics— an agricultural science involving nature’s symbiotic system that mixes plant crops and aquatic life in a closed‐loop, recirculating environment that requires no soil, uses 90% less water than traditional farming, and has no pollutant by-products. This integration of aquaculture and hydroponics results in one of the most prolific and sustainable food production systems in the world. The low input, high output system produces high value crops, including at its basic level fish, vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
To ensure food is produced 365 days per year, the aquaponics system will be housed in climate-controlled geodesic dome greenhouse. The ground where the dome is being built has been excavated and a ground to air heat transfer system will be providing the geothermal heating and cooling. Long-term environmental goals include incorporating solar power, rainwater catchment, and composting. An educational curriculum will be offered for both youth and adults to promote sustainable farming and encourage integration and collaboration with traditional farmers and watermen, as well as health of the bay.