How 2 cousins saved their family's oyster company with underwater farming.
True
Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

When Ryan and Travis Croxton decided to bring back their grandfather's oyster company, it coincided with Chesapeake Bay’s lowest oyster harvest ever.

All images via Upworthy.

Their town's once-flourishing industry was collapsing. In fact, things got so bad, their native oyster was almost put on the endangered species list. It was a pretty big dilemma (and inconvenient timing), to say the least. But it only spurred the Croxton cousins' Rappahannock Oyster Company even more to find a solution.


They scoured the internet to see what other countries were doing, how they were producing their seafood. What they found was a more advanced, efficient technique that could help save not just their own business, but Chesapeake Bay's entire oyster industry.

Watch how this amazing journey unfolded right here:

This community of dedicated fishermen is making sure the Chesapeake Bay oyster doesn't end up on the endangered species list.

Posted by Upworthy Video on Friday, March 17, 2017

Rather than just gathering what oysters were left, the Croxtons turned to aquaculture, which is basically the farming and harvesting of anything that lives underwater.

Outside of aquaculture, gathering fish and oysters is just about that — gathering. Get, get, get. Fish, fish, fish. You collect as big a bounty as you can and you sell it for top dollar. The problem with that model is it becomes all about how much you can get, leaving little regard for resources.

In contrast, aquaculture is all about those resources. It focuses on creating a sustainable ecosystem where underwater plants and animals can thrive more naturally.

And when it comes down to it, oyster aquaculture can be a boon to both the environment and the economy.

For one thing, oysters are a natural cleaner and they act as an amazing filter for pollutants, such as nitrogen. "During its duration in the water, it's filtering 50 to 60 gallons of water a day," explained Ryan Croxton.

Promoting a habitat and life cycle that allows these oysters to blossom benefits Mother Nature (and our tummies) even more. "The oysters we grow actually increase the population of the wild oysters," added Travis Croxton. "You see underwater vegetation coming back, which provides sanctuary for marine animals."

When it comes to aquaculture and fish, however, the method does have potential downsides. Installing cages to farm the fish is necessary, and building them can damage a coast's natural ecosystem. On top of that, waste can accumulate in these structures and contaminate an area's water supply.

Aquaculture also has the potential to create countless new jobs. In the U.S. alone, aquaculture production hit just over a billion dollars back in 2012. But when you compare it to the $120 billion worldwide industry that it was valued at that same year, you can see there are still many opportunities for growth.

And it's already happening.

When the the Croxtons first started out, only a few businesses were doing aquaculture in their community. Now? Several hundred. "I've increased my workforce by about 30%," said Richard Harding, owner of Purcell’s Seafood Company. "We're a small business in a small community, so every job counts."

The best part? Aquaculture has the potential to improve food access for people all around the world.

A 2015 report by WorldFish shows how fish consumption is rising in developing nations — and future demand worldwide is only expected to increase in the coming decades. This means that aquaculture is going to play a pivotal role in making sure that everyone gets fed.

In fact, by 2030, it's already estimated that two-thirds of the global fish supply will be produced via aquaculture.

So yes, demand, populations, challenges — they're all rising. But, you know what? So is the know-how of the people addressing this issue. "Aquaculture is one of the rare things in this world that is a win-win for everything," added Travis Croxton.

The next time you grab an oyster platter, think about how that little gooey organism is helping change the world. Then, of course, think about how dang delicious it is.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

Keep Reading Show less
via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

Keep Reading Show less