March 23, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va.—The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute, one of the nation’s leading research and development facilities dedicated to sustainable water use and aquaculture, has partnered with Wegmans Food Markets for the third year to bring its local Spring Hill Salmon to consumers in the greater D.C. area for a limited time this March and April  

For three decades, the Freshwater Institute has worked to develop and improve aquaculture—or fish farming—technology that is both economically viable and environmentally friendly. Its innovative land-based closed containment systems produce high-quality fish that are raised without the use of antibiotics, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), vaccines, pesticides or hormones in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  

As the demand for seafood grows, and more than 90 percent of our edible seafood is imported from outside of the U.S., the Freshwater Institute is working to improve production methods that meet consumer demands with minimal environmental impact. The Freshwater Institute’s salmon harvests are part of a continuous effort to improve technology that makes local, sustainable seafood possible. This year’s Atlantic salmon was part of a study, funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Atlantic Salmon Federation, researching cost-effective, sustainable fish food options. The result of these efforts is a high-quality, local salmon that has been ranked Best Choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.

“Local seafood consumers have learned to watch for the next innovation from our aquaculture team,” said Joe Hankins, director of The Freshwater Institute. “This year our salmon are grown with a feed we specially formulated with EWOS, a global leader in salmon nutrition, with natural and non-GMO ingredients and a first in the industry zero impact on marine resources. We are thrilled to bring these salmon to market with companies like J.J. McDonnell and Wegmans, who have a passion for quality and understand the importance of sustainable aquaculture in our food future.”

Freshwater Institute’s annual salmon harvest was first distributed to Wegmans through seafood distributor J.J. McDonnell in the spring of 2014. This year, the fish will be available in all Wegmans stores located in Maryland and Virginia.

“We know how important quality and freshness are to our customers,” said Carl Salamone, Wegmans vice president of seafood sustainability. “They also want us to source sustainable seafood as close to home as possible, whenever possible. The innovative work of The Freshwater Institute is helping us to deliver these attributes to our customers over the next few weeks.”

In addition to Wegmans, the salmon also will also be distributed to select restaurants in the D.C. metro area such as Chart House in Alexandria, the River Bend Golf & Country Club in Great Falls and Pike’s Fish House in Leesburg. An important part of Freshwater Institute’s research in sustainable salmon production is testing the product with consumers. This partnership with J.J. McDonnell and Wegmans allows Freshwater to gain valuable consumer feedback that informs the improvement of both its technology and its process.

“J.J. McDonnell is proud to partner with the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute to distribute their Spring Hill Salmon again this year,” said George McManus III, President of J.J. McDonnell. “Innovative fish production methods such as this are the future of the industry and we fully support the work being done at this farm.” 

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 7.5 million acres of land. 

Press Release Contact
Dagny Leonard | The Conservation Fund | | (703) 908-5823