The Regional Aquaculture Centers encourage cooperative and collaborative research and extension education programs in aquaculture having regional or national application. Center programs complement and strengthen existing research and extension educational programs provided by USDA and other public institutions.
The mission of the Centers is to support aquaculture research, development, demonstration, and education to enhance viable and profitable U.S. aquaculture production to benefit consumers, producers, service industries, and the American economy. Projects that are developed and funded by the Regional Centers are based on industry needs and are designed to directly impact commercial aquaculture development in all states and territories. The Centers are organized to take advantage of the best aquaculture science, education skills, and facilities in the United States. Center programs insure effective coordination and a region-wide, team approach to projects jointly conducted by research, extension, government, and industry personnel. Inter-agency collaboration and shared funding are strongly encouraged.
The Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (SRAC) is one of five regional aquaculture centers established by Congress. The designated regions are Tropical/Subtropical, Western, Northeastern, North Central and Southern. Authorization for establishment of these Centers by USDA was provided in Title XIV of the Agriculture & Food Act of 1980 and the Food Security Act of 1985 (Subtitle L, Section 1475[d]). SRAC began organizational activities in 1987, and the first research and extension projects were initiated in 1988. The thirteen states and two territories included in the Southern Region are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Virginia.
Projects that are developed and funded by SRAC are based on industry needs and are designed to directly impact commercial aquaculture development in the Southern Region.