Andrew Murdza doesn't want to live forever, but he may just have to. At 78, he has achieved more in the past two years than most of us have in a lifetime.
In October of 2005 he launched Oyster King 1 - a company whose principal business is cleaning the water of Chesapeake Bay by rebuilding the oyster population - and he hasn't looked back since.
His list of accomplishments thus far include:
To date Andrew Murdza's Oyster King 1 has put approximately 200,000 oysters into the Chesapeake Bay. This number is far short of the 200 million annual target needed to return the Bay to its former glory over the next five years.
Large scale aquaculture is expensive and Oyster King 1 is no exception. Murdza has so far invested more than $300,000 in his initiative.
The state of Maryland has for years extended a $500 tax credit to anyone who puts an Oyster Flotation Device under their dock, jetty, or pier. Murdza has the brilliant idea of prompting waterfront property owners to pledge their tax credit to Oyster King 1 in order to accelerate installation of Oyster Growth Cages in advance of payment.
Unfortunately, innovative growth cages and creative sales and marketing concepts are not enough to meet the needs of either Oyster King 1 or the Chesapeake Bay. The current oyster population of the Bay is 10 million - 1% of what it was 50 years ago when oysters cleaned the entire water body in 2 to 3 days.
Andrew Murdza wants Chesapeake Bay returns to its halcyon days in his lifetime.
He'd rather not have to take the alternative of living forever.