About HCAI


  • Promote and support sustainable aquaculture
  • Develop new methods and new approaches to reduce and ultimately eliminate the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of seafood production
  • Help restore depleted marine species
  • Educate the public and regulators of the benefits of truly sustainable marine aquaculture


Don Chartrand


Don is currently serving as the Executive Director of Creek Lands Conservation and has decades of experience in the private sector R&D and management in Fortune 500 companies.

Ben Ruttenberg

Chief Science Officer

Ben is a Cal Poly Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Coastal Marine Science, including the Marine Conservation Lab at Cal Poly Pier.

Mike Graham

Chief Aquaculturist

Mike is a seaweed expert and co-directs the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Monterey, with over 20 years in research on sustainable seaculture technologies.


Dale Wiggins

Facilities Director

Dale helped create the aquaculture facility at Cayucos and has kept it operating for many years. He is leading the transition to HCAI.

California's Coastal Marine Ecosystems 

The rugged beauty of the Central Coast is the perfect backdrop for a new center of excellence in innovation, research, conservation, and education in land-based marine aquaculture.

It’s easy to forget about the life-support systems underlying the natural beauty, but they need our help!