More than 15 employees with Earth Data, Inc. in Centreville, Maryland recently supported the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s (ORP’s) Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) program, building more than 70 oyster cages. MGO engages more than 2,000 volunteers throughout 36 tributaries in the Chesapeake Bay to nurture young oysters during their most vulnerable first year of life. After the year of growth, the oysters are collected and planted on sanctuaries where they will filter water and provide habitat for crabs, rockfish, and other marine life.
Earth Data’s employees participated through the Earth Data Gives program, which was started by the company to give back to the community. Over the years, Earth Data employees have helped support the health of the Chesapeake Bay, Cub Scouts’ summer camps, ending the global vision epidemic, stocking fish with the Department of Natural Resources, and providing CarePacks to local students.
“Cage building is important because they act as shelters for young, growing oysters during their most vulnerable first year of life. Those oysters, once planted on local reefs will help filter excess nutrients from the Bay and improve water quality. Not only did we have fun, but we did something of great importance for the Chesapeake Bay and its oyster population,” commented Tawney Strazza, Administrative Assistant, Earth Data, Inc. who participated in the event.
“This is a foundational principle in what we do and who we are as a company. We care about more than soil and water. We care about people, too. We believe giving makes our communities thrive, our employees passionate about more than work, and Earth Data an encouragement to those around us,” said Mark Williams, CEO, Earth Data, Inc.
According to Kaylee Fleury, Events & Marketing Coordinator with Oyster Recovery Partnership, Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) has been around for 13 seasons and the extension of cage building activities is relatively new over the last few years. “It is important for us to work with other community organizations, nonprofits, and companies whose mission aligns with ours in terms of the environment, water restoration and outdoor recreation. Connecting with like-minded people at these events helps raise awareness about oysters and their critical role in Bay cleanup. The Earth Data employees were a pleasure to work with – smart, diligent, and hard-working. It was easy to teach them how to build cages and pass them the reigns. It was a huge success. We hope to work together again in the future!”
In addition to giving back through its environmental work, the Earth Data Giving Program encourages all Earth Data Incorporated employees to help others. It provides employees with paid public-service hours for volunteer work done to support local charities and others, such as helping feed school kids on the weekends, cleaning hiking trails, supporting elementary school reading programs, and teaching kids about the world around them by using maps and GIS.
For 47 years, Earth Data, Inc. has been providing field-oriented water resources and geospatial consulting services using high-tech tools to collect, analyze, manage, and distribute data in sophisticated ways. For further information, visit earthdatainc.com.
The Oyster Recovery Partnership is the region’s leading nonprofit dedicated to the large-scale restoration of oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay, planting more than 9 billion oysters on over 3,000 acres of oyster habitat in Maryland since 1993. Learn more at oysterrecovery.org.