The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts are taking steps to support oyster farmers and the environment during the coronavirus pandemic.
The two organizations recently announced an initiative, Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) that is buying $2 million worth of oysters from oyster farms along the East Coast. These farms typically sell 90% of the oysters they produce to restaurants, but the COVID-19 pandemic has cut those sales. Purchasing the oysters will not only put money in farmers’ pockets, but SOAR intends to spread the oysters on ‘restoration reefs’ up and down the coast in an effort to restore the naturally occurring reefs that have been destroyed over the past several decades.
NBC News correspondent Harry Smith spoke to some of the oyster farmers who were involved in the initiative.
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