Oyster aquaculture is a big investment, a big investment that can easily be washed away by the winds of a mighty hurricane. After Hurricane Michael hit the Florida coast in 2018 there were no news cameras focusing on the damaged crops of Gulf oyster farmers. There was no coverage of lost equipment, lost production, lost profit and lost dreams.
Barleybrine Oyster & Craft Beer Weekend, held April 4-6 in the Gulf seaport of Pensacola, rallied craft brewers, celebrity chefs and beer-loving foodies to help Florida oyster growers affected by the hurricane. The event raised funds for the Gulf Seafood Foundation’s “Helping Hands” initiative, which distributes work gloves and other needed aid to seafood workers.
“Oyster farmers in the Florida panhandle have been hampered by a delay in assistance,” said Gulf Seafood Foundation president Jim Gossen. “We wanted to be a part of this important event so they can once again can get back to the business of growing great tasting Gulf oysters.”
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