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Drawing of an oyster with an earth as the pearl.

Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition

"Shellebrate" Earth Day with Climate Action

Shellfish aquaculture is essential to the health of our oceans and communities. Protecting the industry and its benefits will require bold action.

A drawing of a plate of oysters on the half shell.

A drawing of a plate of oysters on the half shell. Text says "Imagine sitting down at your favorite restaurant and ordering oysters on the half shell. But your waiters ays shellfish aren't on the menu anymore. It may seem like a far-fetched scenario, but climate change could make it a reality in the not-too-distant future."

A drawing of stormy skies, a boat broken in two, and a broken dock.

A drawing of stormy skies, a boat broken in two, and a broken dock. Text says "heat waves, rising sea levels, extreme storms, more acidic oceans, and other challenges are making it harder for shellfish to survive and thrive. Without action, these problems will assuredly get much worse – and they could decimate shellfish populations."

A drawing of a boat filled with baskets of oysters.

A drawing of a boat filled with baskets of oysters. Text reads "A shellfish-free future would be bad news for American consumers. Every year, U.S. farmers grow more than 2 billion pounds of bivalves and crustaceans, contributing significantly to national food security."

A drawing of an oyster farmer wearing orange waders standing in front of a boat full of oysters.

A drawing of an oyster farmer wearing orange waders standing in front of a boat full of oysters. Text reads "Of course, the loss of shellfish wouldn't just be a problem for consumers. The owners and employees of the United States' 1500 shellfish farms would be most directly affect through the loss of their incomes and livelihoods."

A drawing of a sign that says "out of business."

A drawing of a sign that says "out of business." Text reads, "Then, there are tens of thousands of businesses – including restaurants, fishmongers, wholesalers, processors, distributors, and gear manufacturers – that depend on the availability of shellfish."

A drawing of a food truck and people seated at picnic benches.

A drawing of a food truck and people seated at picnic benches. Text reads, "Those farms and businesses create jobs, spur economic growth, and drive tourism in coastal areas. When they struggle, it harms entire communities."

A picture of two tanks of water. The one on the left has dirty water, and is labeled "no oysters." The one on the right has clean water and contains oysters, and is labeled "oysters."

A picture of two tanks of water. The one on the left has dirty water, and is labeled "no oysters." The one on the right has clean water and contains oysters, and is labeled "oysters." Text reads: "Because shellfish provide important ecosystem services, their absence would weaken ocean health too. Oysters, for example, improve water quality by filtering out excess nutrients. They also form reefs that provide habitat for other sea creatures and prevent coastal erosion and flooding."

A drawing of solar panels and wind turbines.

A drawing of solar panels and wind turbines. Text reads "But a world without shellfish isn't inevitable. From transitioning to clean energy, conserving ecosystems, and promoting sustainable food systems, there is so much we can do to stabilize the climate and adapt to weather extremes."

A drawing of an oyster with an earth as the pearl.
© Mazzie Meotti/TNC

A drawing of an oyster with an earth as the pearl. Text reads "There's hard work ahead of us, but the sooner we act, the brighter the future will be for shellfish aquaculture and everyone who depends on it."