Action Fueled by Passion
Louis Ryan credits his love
of the great outdoors and
passion for activism as
his twin inspirations for
making the Chesapeake Bay
Foundation a priority.
Louis Ryan and his wife Prudence
have enjoyed living and sailing on
the Lafayette and Elizabeth Rivers in
Norfolk, Virginia, for the last 40 years.
As Louis learned about the pollution
facing the Bay, he realized passive
appreciation of the Bay wasn’t enough.
He needed to take a more active role in
protecting the environment. “How can
we enjoy the environment if we don’t
first protect it?” Louis thought.
Retired from his position as Executive
Vice President and General Counsel
of Landmark Communications Inc.,
Louis continues to serve as a trustee on
boards throughout the Hampton Roads
region, including Virginia Wesleyan
University, Eastern Virginia Medical
School Foundation, Access College
Foundation, Elizabeth River Project,
and E3: Elevate Early Education. He
also dedicates time to CBF’s President’s
Advisory Council, as well as the
Hampton Roads Council, a group of
community leaders committed to
saving the Bay.
At a recent Hampton Roads Council
meeting, Louis learned about a unique
CBF project, still in the conceptual
phase, that really piqued his interest.
Hampton Roads Community
Foundation had just approved a grant
for CBF’s Virginia Mobile Oyster
Restoration Center, a first-of-its-kind,
mobile oyster-setting unit, and the
grant required a matching gift. The
Mobile Oyster Restoration Center
will be a barge fitted with oyster-setting tanks powered by a solar array
and wind turbines, allowing CBF to
significantly increase the impact of
its oyster restoration work. The unit
will double oyster production, reduce
larvae mortality, and offer unique
opportunities to educate and engage
The mobility of the barge will also save
time and money. Currently, CBF staff
and volunteers spend a considerable
amount of time traveling to and from
the river to the oyster setting facility.
Cutting travel time means more time
devoted to oyster production, which
also helps increase restoration. Further,
having spat “grow up” in the same water
where they’ll ultimately be planted may
improve survival rates.
Impressed by the capabilities of the
Mobile Oyster Restoration Center,
Louis said, “I can do that. I’m in,”
volunteering to provide the funding
needed to complete the construction
of the Virginia Mobile Oyster
Louis and Pru look forward to watching
the Virginia Mobile Oyster Restoration
Center splash into action in 2019, and
Louis is optimistic about the future of
the Chesapeake Bay. “CBF is relentless
and the mission is clear. I get excited
when I hear about the great work
Louis and Pru divide their time between
Virginia and Maine and always make
time to enjoy the outdoors.
CBF is grateful to the Ryans for their
commitment to CBF and for helping the
concept of the Mobile Oyster
Restoration Center become a reality.
With their help, we’re one step closer to
restoring the Bay’s natural oysters.
Louis and Prudence Ryan, strong
supporters of CBF, have played an active
role in protecting the environment.
KENNY FLETCHER/CBF STAFF
COURTESY PHO TO