O'DIERNO HONORED BY NEW JERSEY SEAFOOD INDUSTRY
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – For more than 20 years, Linda O’Dierno has been working with the region’s seafood industry, encouraging people to take advantage of the ocean’s bounty caught right off the New Jersey or New York coasts. For all of her efforts, she was honored May 21 at the Jersey Shore Partnership’s 11th annual Summer Celebration in Sea Bright.
O’Dierno, coordinator of Fish and Seafood Development for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, was presented with the Partnership’s Seafood Industry Award, which is given to those special individuals or organizations that dedicate their work to promoting Jersey Seafood.
“Linda has helped increase the visibility of New Jersey seafood, most notably with her work on the creation of the Jersey Seafood branding program and subsequent promotional materials,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. “Her goal has been to increase local seafood consumption by showing people that New Jersey seafood is not only good tasting and easy to cook but is a healthy addition to their diets.”
O’Dierno helped develop the Jersey Seafood branding program, which helps promote and market seafood products caught or harvested by New Jersey fishermen and farmers. She created recipe cards that are being distributed at retailers seafood counters and a New Jersey Seafood Children’s Activity Book to help increase awareness about local seafood among young people. She also spearheaded a campaign to encourage use of New Jersey seafood and produce in restaurants in the state.
Along with Tom Gagliano, a co-chair of the Jersey Shore Partnership, O’Dierno was instrumental in founding the first Summer Celebration to focus attention on the shore and the vibrant seafood industry it supports. Over the past 11 years, the Summer Celebration has grown to become the official kick off to the Summer Season on the Jersey Shore, featuring signature Jersey Seafood dishes prepared by the renowned chefs of the area.
In addition to the Summer Celebration, O’Dierno has organized cooking competitions, a day at the dock for food retailers and other programs to showcase the quality and variety of the state’s local harvest.
O’Dierno also is actively involved in the development of business-friendly and environmentally-sound aquaculture policies that can help to grow the New Jersey aquaculture industry.
Prior to coming to the Department of Agriculture, O’Dierno was a Regional Seafood Specialist with New York Sea Grant.
The Jersey Shore Partnership is a public/private non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to shore protection, beach restoration, tourism, economic development and quality of life issues in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May Counties.