You might be asking yourself - what is the Shellfish Climate Coalition?
That’s easy, it is a coalition of more than 200 shellfish businesses from 23 U.S. states and Canada, all working to advocate for sound climate policy and securing a low-carbon future to benefit the shellfish we love and the waters that sustain them.
Seafood is one of the primary sources of food and livelihood in many places around the world, especially in a highly trafficked, tourist dependent destination like Anna Maria Island. As the effects of climate change exacerbate, more and more devastation is growing apparent, especially with regards to water quality.
Are you aware of the positive environmental impact that clams and oysters have on our waters?
If not, you're about to.
Clams and oysters filter water and remove all of the elements in the water that harm us. They eat red tide; survive throughout even the worst of red tide seasons, and they clean our water columns.
Do you know what the ripple effect of this action is?
When oysters and clams clear our water columns, we get more photosynthesis, which means more seagrass. With more seagrass, we get more forage fish, giving rise to more carbon sequestration. Ultimately, our entire marine ecosystem revitalizes, but only if we realize the importance of cultivating clams and doing bivalves. For this, we need to turn our minds more towards economic development and the shellfish coalition.
Recently, Ed Chiles, our Founder, Restaurateur & Activist came together with other wholesalers, and shellfish growers from all across the United States with the hopes of raising awareness of the shellfish climate coalition.
“What keeps me up at night is harmful algal blooms, red tides--the kind of thing that puts paradise in jeopardy, that puts the history that I have here, and the heritage, and this precious thing at risk.”
While growing up on Anna Maria Island, Ed inherited the sustainability genes from his family, especially his father. He realized the importance of hunting and fishing and understanding the reverence of what you catch and what you eat and the dire need for actions to combat the climatic changes, destroying water quality from where many people source their food. Ed strives to combat the impacts of ocean acidifications, the rise in sea levels, and the severity and frequency of storms. He seeks to uplift the sea farming businesses that are the lifeblood of the coastal, small-town communities.
Ed’s vision is to encourage everyone to speak up and help support the shellfish's future, which is the livelihood and a primary food source for our world.
Here’s how can you join the remarkable initiative that Ed has undertaken?
- Reach out to your elected officials. Contact your federal, state, and local elected leaders to establish an economy-wide pricing plan on carbon. Implore your officials to restore your natural ecosystems and reduce global emissions. Request the authorities to invest in emission-reduction programs and build grid modernization and energy efficiency.
- Gather with friends, neighbors, and community members and support coalition members in sharing stories of how climate changes have impacted your lives. Raise awareness of how the future generations are losing their rich cultural heritage and natural treasure.
- Learn about climate change impacts on the water, the shellfish, and share your education with your youngsters and all around you.
The Shellfish Climate Coalition is a step towards preserving the health of the treasures nature has blessed us with. Shellfish enrich our lives in more than one way, and it is time we acknowledge how our negligence and unawareness are destroying the wealth we possess in the water. Join Ed In his fight against climate change here!