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Tour of Muddy River Farm Aquaponics

This program is now full. Please contact Lindy Magness at lindy@hhltmaine.org to be added to the waitlist. Did you know that an oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day? Join us for a tour of Muddy River Farm Aquaponics’ Mitchell Field facility to learn more about their innovative aquaculture and the Harpswell hatchery. The tour includes a talk about the company’s history and the important role that aquaculture can play in reducing the impact of climate change. Muddy River Farm focuses on how new technology like 3D printing can help shellfish grow in a fraction of the time in much less space than a traditional aquaculture lease.

Space for this event is limited so we request that you register in advance. Participants are required to wear close-toed shoes, free of debris to help keep the hatchery clean. There is no food or drink allowed in the hatchery, and we ask that photos only be taken outside of the facility. We will meet in the lower parking lot at Mitchell Field and walk over together for the tour.

Matt Nixon worked with the State of Maine in ocean and coastal resource management until 2019, when he began consulting to monitor water quality, marine resource assessment, and permit enforcement for several local companies and communities in hopes that his work would lead to more immediate climate impacts. In November of 2019 Matt opened Muddy River Farm Aquaponics, which had the support of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the US Department of Energy/Oakridge National Labs to design, test, and 3D print an oyster growing system out of wood flour and bioresin. After four years of testing the “Oyster Pod”, Muddy River expanded to a 15,000-square-foot, 200-year-old, three story warehouse in Bath that the main offices are now located in.

In February of 2024, Matt closed on the hatchery—now called the Merrymeeting Shellfish Company—in Harpswell, so that Muddy River could expand to growing oysters from “scratch” and therefore sell seed to other farmers. With strong concerns about climate change, Muddy River hopes to be a refuge of sorts to shellfish farms, with their technology eventually being licensed to others who want to diversify their income and transition to aquaculture, providing an option for people who make their living on the water to continue to provide ocean-based protein and product.