On Sept. 16, 2020 our small oyster farm took a direct hit from Category 3 hurricane winds for more than 12 hours and over 24 inches of rain causing severe oyster and equipment loss. The farm was only seven months into its first year of operation and had not made it to market yet. It took all of 2019 to get approvals and permits for the oyster lease. We placed baby oysters on the farm in March and August of 2020. We estimate Sally caused 65-70% oyster mortality.
We relied on the incredible support of others to secure what was left on the farm and recover equipment and oysters scattered across Pensacola Bay. We recovered 90% of our lost gear, thanks to the community calling them in, but much of the gear was damaged beyond repair. It would have been almost a complete loss if it were not for these friends and fellow farmers.
Insurance is hard to come by for oyster farms and therefore we did not have insurance on the crop or the equipment. Because we are fully self-funded, this was a huge blow for us in our first year, but we're working hard to move forward. This page has been set up to ask for support in helping to purchase new equipment and oysters that were lost and damaged due to Hurricane Sally. We are beyond grateful for the support we've already received from the community, and thank you for your contribution.
Brandon and Natalie
The corner post the camera is attached to was turned 90 degrees and no longer looking at the farm. The camera is 9 feet from the surface of the water normally. There was 8 feet of surge in the bay.
This was extremely hard to see all of the work we put in and to see what was left and all the work that needed to be done. You can see the full video on our Instagram site.