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Terry Sawyer

Terry grew up swimming, snorkeling and exploring the banks of the Indian River Estuary on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Farming and ranching are his family’s heritage and from a young age Terry developed a keen understanding of stewarding the land and nurturing limited resources. Summers spent working at the Harbor Branch Gulf Stream Research Facility in nearby Fort Pierce gave him opportunities to explore his interests in research, growing food and farming the water. His first ‘ah ha!’ moment came to him while snorkeling through the estuary. “This is it,” he thought “some day, somehow I am going to bring the two worlds together – the ocean and farming.” Marine Studies at UC Santa Cruz brought Terry to California, and he began work, first as a volunteer and then as a full-time aquarist, with the brand new Monterey Bay Aquarium. There, he developed his expertise in collecting, husbandry, botany, and the methods critical for providing healthy environments for marine organisms. Terry left the Aquarium in 1988 to become a partner with the Hog Island Oyster Co. His experience made for a great fit as he pioneered Hog Island’s first wet storage tanks to hold live oysters. This state-of-the-art system creates a natural, bay-like aquarium where harvested oysters purify and chill while waiting to head to market. Today, Terry is in charge of all technical operations at Hog Island, including the design and implementation of seed hatchery operations along with ongoing site and building developments at Hog Island Oyster Farm in Marshall. Terry has focused his career on aquaculture policy development, working with regulatory agencies and multiple partners to ensure the long-term health of shellfish and Tomales Bay Watershed. He is actively leading Hog Island’s involvement in Ocean Acidification research with UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Labs, CCAN and other ocean conservation groups.