Tyler Ortego founded ORA Estuaries in 2009 with the goal to build and maintain the ecological infrastructure that allows our estuaries to remain abundant and productive in conjunction with ever increasing human presence. Tyler is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a bachelors and masters in Biological Engineering. His research focused on the development of bioenginered concrete for growing oysters. Tyler's personal mission is to radically transform the economics of coastal infrastructure. He is convinced that the humble and delicious oyster will play a key part in this transformation. Tyler is a licensed professional civil engineer, and holds a number of patents and pending patents for coastal restoration technologies. Tyler married a New Orleans girl, and therefore will forever live in the greater New Orleans area. He and Kim have two young children. His hope is that they can grow up and thrive in this truly special corner of the world.
Oyster's aren't just delicious. Described as "ecosystem engineers", "keystone species" and "the temporal equivalent of coral reefs", oysters are as important in the water as they are on the plate. Globally, 85% of the worlds oyster reefs have been lost. That number is actually more dramatic when you measure reef mass rather than reef footprint. At the same time, coastal communities are trying to deal with combined demographic changes and climate change. A leading example is the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. Many places are trying to figure out how to restore historic oyster populations. Tyler Ortego is taking this a step further to ask "Can we use oyster restoration as a tool to achieve our coastal resilience needs?". This presentation will outline Tyler's quest to turn oysters into locally sourced building blocks for restoring our nation's coasts.