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Thursday, May 2 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Converting Urban Food Deserts to Food Oases Community-Scale Aquaponics (Aquaculture + Hydroponics)

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Inspired by the LBC’s Urban Agriculture Imperative, which was introduced about a decade ago, the research and experience by this session’s team members have studied, designed and built large-scale aquaculture and hydroponic facilities. These type of high-tech 21st century farms can produce vast amounts of healthy food in a very compact footprint. Because of the efficiencies in its design these food production facilities can be located in densely populated urban areas, including neighborhoods that are now experiencing “Food Deserts” where healthy fresh foods are hard to find or difficult to afford. To address this problem, large community-scale aquaponics facilities provide a place where people have the best possible access to healthy foods and beverages that are high quality, affordable, culturally acceptable, and meet the nutritional needs of the people in the community, thereby creating a virtual “Food Oasis”.

This session will demonstrate the Bellingham Organics aquaponics facility which is located in northwest Washington state. This aquaponics facility aims to create a healthy mix of private enterprise and social impact. The session will present a case study of this social venture project using closed-loop aquaponics for year-round production of organic food and freshwater fish at a degraded brownfield location, without gentrification or displacement of existing, neighboring uses. Aquaponics can reuse urban, blighted brownfields, underutilized publicly-owned properties, or locations being held for future redevelopment. An optimized project will produce a balanced mix of community benefits and private enterprise, sharing the upside of profit, jobs, training, and better access to healthy, local food for people from a wide range of incomes.

This session is approved for the following continuing education credits:
  • 1.5 LFA credits
  • 1.5 AIA LU|HSW credits

avatar for Rose Lathrop, LEED AP, CSBA

Rose Lathrop, LEED AP, CSBA

Green Building + Smart Growth Program Manager, Sustainable Connection
Rose Lathrop is the Green Building & Energy Program Director for Sustainable Connections, a Whatcom County based non-profit business membership organization dedicated to advancing sustainable business practices. The Green Building program promotes healthy, durable, efficient, and... Read More →
avatar for Mark Buehrer

Mark Buehrer

Founder and Director, 2020 Engineering
Mark Buehrer is a professional civil engineer, author, inventor, and the founder and director of 2020 ENGINEERING. Since 1995, 2020 ENGINEERING has been at the forefront of the research and development of sustainable methods, systems, and infrastructures. Mark’s sustainable and... Read More →
avatar for Paul Schissler

Paul Schissler

Founder and Principal, Paul Schissler Associates
Paul Schissler is the founder and principal of Paul Schissler Associates, a planning and development consultancy based in Bellingham WA since 1994. PSA offers technical assistance, community economic development, and grantsmanship in support of public interest projects. Paul’s program... Read More →
avatar for Henning Gatz

Henning Gatz

Founder and President, Aquacare Environment, Inc
Henning Gatz is the founder and President of Aquacare Environment Inc, formed in 1987, that designs and builds sustainable, controlled environment, land based fish farms. Aquacare designs and delivers fish farm projects world-wide, using commercially proven designs and pre-engineered... Read More →

Thursday May 2, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Hyatt Regency - Skagit Room # 603