SAVANNAH, Ga (October 15, 2015) – The Foram Group Charitable Foundation presented a $100,000 check to fund the creation of Armstrong State University’s Aquaponics Research Center on October 1, whose mission is to conduct cutting-edge research, and to develop technologies and best practices that improve the sustainability and profitability of soilless farming techniques. This new facility, which broke ground in November 2015, will be located in the field adjacent to the Arts Drive parking lot.
“We will learn what no one else has learned,” noted Loretta Cockrum, founder of the Foram Group Charitable Foundation, which provides funding to make aquaponic technology economically viable. “The leadership at Armstrong is extraordinary and will help us achieve our goals.”
Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. At Armstrong’s new facility, water enriched with fish waste will feed into a hydroponic system, where by-products will be broken down and utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water will then be recirculated back to the aquaculture system to sustain the fish.
Though the soilless system for crop production has been used for more than 2,000 years in small-scale settings around the world, little research has been conducted into commercial-scale aquaponics production. Armstrong’s Biology and Economics departments have joined forces to investigate the sustainability and profitability of aquaponic farming, which uses roughly one-tenth of the water traditionally needed to grow food in soil and has less impact on natural resources.
“Aquaponics technology offers an exciting new learning opportunity for our students,” said Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken. “Not only will our students be able to engage in first-class research right here on campus, but they will also work toward providing large-scale food solutions for those most in need.”
Armstrong State University is a dynamic and diverse public university situated on the Atlantic coast in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. With more than 100 highly regarded degrees and programs, it’s no wonder that more than 7,000 students from almost every state in the U.S. and 70 countries choose to start strong and finish strong at Armstrong. Whether you wish to pursue liberal arts or sciences, become a health professional or a teacher, you will find support and inspiration at every turn to prepare you for leadership in your career and your community.