When it comes to the environment and climate change, we all need to do our part in helping! This is why Carolina Gold Oyster Company joined the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition. This is a fantastic organization that was founded by 7 shellfish growers across the United States! We are happy to be one member out of the 147 shellfish farmers, hatchery operators, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants!
What is the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition?
The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition (SGCC) is a passionate group of 147 shellfish farmers, hatchery operators,
wholesalers, retailers and restaurants across 20 U.S. states and Canada. Members are committed to bringing about climate action by sharing personal stories about how climate change has impacted their lives and livelihoods. The coalition’s goal is to advocate for sound climate policy and secure a low-carbon future to benefit the shellfish we love and the waters that sustain them—before it’s too late.
The SGCC was established in 2018 when a group of seven U.S. shellfish farmers partnered with The Nature Conservancy to help move the needle on climate change. We are an “endorsement” coalition, with all members supporting the goal of reduced carbon emissions. The SGCC is open to representatives from all food sectors who wish to engage with consumers and policymakers to help chart America’s course towards a low carbon future.
Why do shellfish growers care about climate change?
Shellfish growers are seeing a range of impacts on their businesses and their bottom lines. Some are experiencing the impact of ocean acidification, which is influenced by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, on larval oysters that are unable to grow shell properly. Others are seeing the effects of sea level rise on their coastal businesses. Increasing frequency and intensity of storms can impact shellfish growers’ facilities and their ability to reliably get products to market. And, increasing water temperatures can lead to higher levels of bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which negatively impact shellfish farms by adding costs to ensure shellfish safety. Now, more than ever, the ocean waters our members depend on are in peril.
Why should the public be interested?
Climate change is nowhere more evident than along U.S. coastlines, where coastal communities and small business have borne the brunt of its destruction and devastation. While people understand the value of shellfish growers for farming and harvesting the seafood we all love to eat, the industry provides so much more than what’s on the raw bar. In many cases, our members have been farming from the sea for generations, and their businesses form the economic backbone of their small-town coastal communities. Moreover, shellfish is one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable sources of protein, and certain species, such as oysters, can actually benefit the marine environment by filtering water, reducing shoreline erosion, and promoting marine biodiversity. The stakes are high, and by lifting up our voices as members of the shellfish industry, we can create the momentum needed for other people and other industries to do the same.