Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.53
Liaison Taryn Wilkinson
Submission Date Aug. 10, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Niagara College Canada
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Al Unwin
Chair, School of Environmental & Horticultural Studies
School of Environmental & Horticultural Studies
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Aquaponics

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

In March 2014, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada awarded Niagara College funding from the Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grant to purchase and install two independent aquaponics systems, including four 110-gallon fish tanks and eight grow beds with a total of 144 square-feet for hydroponic growing, along with aquariums for breeding.

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) into one closed loop, sustainable system that uses the fish waste to provide an organic source of nutrients for hydroponically grown plants. In other words, sustainable food production happens both in the water and above it.

The greens are being harvested on a regular basis to be prepped by the students of the College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and served in Benchmark restaurant. Eventually, tilapia will be grown in the tank to be harvested and served at Benchmark – the College’s teaching restaurant. The research project will continue to be fine-tuned, while offering a living teaching tool for both horticulture and culinary academic programs.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

The aquaponics system allows more food to be grown on campus, including both leafy greens and fish, that reduces the need to purchase food grown elsewhere for use in the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, while being a useful teaching aid in both the horticulture and culinary academic programs.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

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