Normally, a hearty amount of rain in Texas is a good thing. Unfortunately, it's created a disaster for Gulf oysters.

Oysters live in brackish water- a combination of salt and fresh. And while oysters are hearty creatures, too much fresh water can and will kill them. Recent storms have killed off multiple generations of oysters in Galveston Bay, costing an estimated $5 million, and much more.

This is because oysters are more than a delicious seafood treat- they are also an essential organism for healthy, clean oceans and they help prevent coastal erosion.

Oyster reefs also provide a habitat for many other animal species including fish, shrimp, and crabs.


It will take several years for the oyster population to return to where it was, and in the meantime, consumers can expect higher prices and more rarity, much like we already saw with this year's crawfish supply.

A disaster declaration was called by Galveston County Judge Mark Henry in hopes that federal funding would be granted to help the Gulf Coast oyster industry- the jobs it creates, the food and funds it creates for the area, and of course, the natural environment it sustains.

In addition to recent rains, oysters across the world contend with many other challenges to their survival. Fertilizer runoff, unnatural human-caused erosion, unsustainable harvesting, and disease have all hit oyster populations hard. Overall, oyster populations are at a historic low.

Luckily, through the intervention of caring and hard-working Texans, there's hope for both our palates and the natural environment.

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