Improving on Tradition
In 2001, we were looking to resurrect our great-grandfather’s
oyster company. We looked at it sensibly and knew we wouldn’t be
resurrecting the methods that brought the oyster to near extinction.
However, aquaculture didn’t have the greatest connotation at the time.
Most people think of stagnant ponds, packed to the brim with fish that are fed chicken
pellets. But in the Bay, aquaculture has the potential to go beyond sustainability and be
restorative. CBF was my personal introduction to the problems and promises of the Bay.
It was through their experts, like former Virginia Oyster and Fisheries Scientist Tommy
Leggett, that we saw the potential for a new industry, built on a foundation that could last.
For someone who comes from a family heritage that has lasted 118 years, that’s a
responsibility I don’t take lightly. There are clearly challenges, like global warming and
ocean acidification, but when I look at what non-profits like CBF have done for a new
generation of stewards, I’m inspired. Today, oyster aquaculture has turned our state into
the largest producer of oysters on the East Coast.
Saving Critters and Habitat
From our mountains to our marshes, the Chesapeake
Bay watershed is a complex ecosystem that supports
more than 3,600 species of plant and animal life.
CBF has worked hard to keep their populations
sustainable by fighting to reduce pollution, stop habitat
degradation, and prevent overfishing.