Victoria Ippolito suggests that the "oyster is our world" in her captivating sustainable sea talk. As a marine biologist, Ippolito dedicates her life to protecting the ocean she fell in love with as a child from harms like habitat destruction and acidification to drought and erosion.
Currently, Louisiana leads the nation in oyster production. However, the aforementioned challenges could potentially change that. In other words, 3600 people are at risk of losing their livelihood, while the state could take a financial hit of 317 million dollars per year.
Hatcheries are important systems because, though they are man-made, they act as a natural oyster reef and therefore a habitat for fish and shellfish. This makes them commercially relevant, as they help create jobs and further fuel the economy. Beyond their commercial properties, hatcheries are good for the ocean's health. Not only do they protect the shoreline from erosion and reduce the impact of storms, they also ensure consistent and reliable oyster production during periods of drought. Considering that a single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, improving water quality and clarity, a steady oyster population is not insignificant. Ippolito argues that implementing hatcheries would help Louisiana face new challenges and stay ahead of the game when it comes to oyster production.