TOGA Member Priorities Survey Summary
MEMBERS HIGHLY VALUE OYSTER GARDENING RESOURCES AND ADULT EDUCATION AS TOGA PRIORITIES!
In the spring of 2022, one hundred and thirty members of the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) provided their opinions about TOGA guiding principles and activities. The results of this online survey will be used to guide future TOGA programs.
There was confirmation of the three TOGA guiding principles with all three being identified as very important.
1. TOGA promotes oyster gardening aquaculture in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
2. TOGA educates interested citizens in oyster aquaculture methods.
3. TOGA promotes the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries through oyster cultivation.
Comments from members about these principles include:
Helping the Bay and enjoying your own oysters are important.
Education is key to spreading the word and getting more folks to grow oysters. For sustainability of the bay and to grow own food source.
Everyone needs to understand the role of the oyster ecosystem.
In ranking the TOGA Activities, members valued providing oyster gardening resources, adult education, and oyster gardening assistance by Master Oyster Gardeners as their top three choices. Youth education was considered important and special projects were considered to be somewhat important.
Comments from members about these activities include:
We need to make it easy for gardeners to start or continue gardening.
This (adult education) combines education and the information needed necessary for being an effective oyster gardener.
Teaching and gardening assistance grows the members and the number of people joining the ranks of oyster gardeners
We need to create an awareness to the younger generation to sustain our efforts for the future.
TOGA should give back to the community.
When asked about the main reason they are members of TOGA, the feedback was extremely helpful. Here are a few of the many reasons offered:
Interest in aquaculture and the health of the Bay.
To get up to date information on oyster gardening, oyster events such as opportunities to purchase oyster spats, oyster float material and talk with oyster gardeners.
I believe in supporting this natural resource as it pertains to the health of our ecosystem, plus I enjoy raising and eating oysters.
To see the Executive Summary of the TOGA Member Priorities Survey, click here.