William’s Wharf Oyster Co. Welcomes Gretchen Davis to the Team

Gretchen Davis Marine Biologist - Williams Wharf Oyster Company - Oyster Distributors - Mathews, VA OystersAt William’s Wharf Oyster Company, we love growth. The growth of our oysters, the improved health of the health of the Chesapeake Bay, our growing list of restaurant partners, and our incredibly fast growing company. One of the things we’re specifically proud of is our ability to add new members to the Williams Wharf Oyster Company team.

One of those new additions is Gretchen Davis, our Oyster Aquaculture Specialist and Hatchery Manager. Gretchen grew up in Salem, VA in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After she graduated from High School, she moved to her family’s farm in Virginia’s Northern Neck. Shortly after, she started her college career at Christopher Newport University, pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. After her graduation from CNU, she started a full-time position at an oyster hatchery, where she spawned oyster larvae and sold seed. She recently relocated to Mathews to work at William’s Wharf Oyster Company and we couldn’t be happier to have her!

As a local of North Eastern Virginia, helping to preserve the Chesapeake Bay was something that Gretchen wanted to be a part of since she was a college freshman. During her time at CNU, she interned under Dr. Russel Burke, where she researched artificial oyster reefs and their effect on the marine environment. Gretchen largely attributes her love of oysters to her mentor, Dr. Burke. By having him as her professor and main advisor, she found her passion for oyster aquaculture.

Oysters are the basis for a healthy ecosystem. They create a habitat for juvenile crabs and fish, and they filter 50-60 gallons of water per day. In order to help save the Bay, I knew the first step is to contribute to increasing the oyster population. William’s Wharf Oyster Company adds millions of oysters to the area. As an oyster farm, we are cleaning the water, creating habitat for juvenile fish and crabs, and producing a delicious product that connects people to the Bay. The way we grow oysters is unique and innovative process that created a quality product with the help of the natural flow of the tides.

– Gretchen Davis, William’s Wharf Oyster Company

So, what exactly does an oyster aquaculture specialist do? Currently, Gretchen provides insight on the best procedures for grow out and work with growing the 1 mm seed oysters until they are big enough to go out onto the main leases. Her and the William’s Wharf team are currently in the beginning stages of building an oyster hatchery where we will spawn oyster larvae and create seed for our own uses.

Everyone at William’s Wharf Oyster Company loves having Gretchen as a part of our team. Her passion for our work, and her drive to produce a quality product while striving to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay aligns with our company’s message completely and we can’t wait to see her grow in her position with William’s Wharf Oyster Company.

My love is the water and it is my goal to help preserve and increase the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Oysters are the basis for a healthy ecosystem and are vital for other living organisms, such as fish and crabs. This is why oyster aquaculture is such an important role in increasing the health of the Bay.

– Gretchen Davis, William’s Wharf Oyster Company


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