HomeCoffeeThe Inexperienced Ocean Espresso Challenge Is Reviving Clew Bay

The Inexperienced Ocean Espresso Challenge Is Reviving Clew Bay


Watermark Espresso is working with the Clew Bay Oyster Co-Op to revive oysters and scale back coastal erosion through the use of espresso purchases to fund seabed restoration. 


Featured picture courtesy of Watermark Espresso

Because the world grapples with environmental points and local weather change, it has develop into more and more necessary for companies to be extra acutely aware of their ecological influence. One enterprise that stands out on this regard is Watermark Espresso, based by David Lawlor and his spouse, Marguerite. The corporate takes a singular strategy to sustainability by specializing in its Inexperienced Ocean Espresso initiative.  

David, the corporate’s managing director, has chosen the ocean as their main trigger to help, and has partnered with native change-makers to take action. The Inexperienced Ocean Espresso undertaking has been focusing its efforts on restoring the oyster inhabitants in Clew Bay, positioned in County Mayo in Eire. We reached out to David and requested him about Inexperienced Ocean Espresso and the significance of companies taking significant environmental motion. 

A large oyster shell is held out by human hands. The oyster is large, gray and white mottled, and bumpy in texture.
A keystone species is an important organism that serves as a defining attribute of a whole ecosystem. Photograph through Unsplash.

Restoring the Ecosystem By Reviving Oysters 

As a keystone species, oysters are an important a part of the native ecosystem and supply important providers, akin to nutrient biking and water filtration. The workforce at Watermark Espresso has made it their mission to revive the oyster inhabitants in Clew Bay.  

David determined to begin the undertaking as a direct response to the local weather disaster. “I consider that each effort, regardless of how small, makes a distinction. … (We) at the moment are at a ‘make or break’ stage the place we have to take each alternative to make higher local weather selections. Companies have a fair larger alternative to make a distinction when it comes to their obtainable assets and affect. We don’t have time to waste.” 

However how can oysters assist precisely? In accordance with David, oysters assist filter seawater. This permits daylight to achieve deeper into the ocean and promotes the expansion of seagrass and different marine vegetation. ”Seagrass is a robust carbon sink; based on the UN, seagrass absorbs atmospheric carbon at a fee of 35 instances quicker than the rainforest. The established oyster and seagrass/seaweed reef supplies an ideal surroundings for juvenile fish to develop and keep away from predation but in addition (reduces) coastal erosion.”

Alex and David drink coffee on a dock by the sea with a box of oysters and wear blue and yellow rain jackets.
Alex Blackwell, (left) supervisor and marine biologist with Clew Bay Oyster Co-Op, with David Lawlor. Photograph courtesy of Watermark Espresso.

Watermark Espresso, from Bean to Sea 

Along with the Clew Bay Oyster Co-Op, the Inexperienced Ocean Espresso undertaking carried out the primary part of restoration in July 2022 to seize the essence of the undertaking. To assist oyster larvae settle and connect to the ocean flooring, they utilized a layer of damaged shell referred to as culch. Their objective? Create an oyster reef by spreading culch and letting it develop over a interval of three to 4 years. 

Watermark Espresso isn’t solely trying to assist the native surroundings and revive Clew Bay’s oyster inhabitants, however they’re additionally dedicated to sustainability of their enterprise operations. David explains, ”The hyperlink between espresso consumption and the restoration is straightforward. One sq. meter of seabed restoration is funded with every 1 kg bag of espresso bought.”

Three blue bags of Watermark coffee lined up on a rock with oysters in front of them.
Every bag of Inexperienced Ocean Espresso ends in the restoration of a sq. meter of the ocean flooring. Photograph courtesy of Watermark Espresso.

The espresso itself is packaged in absolutely recyclable baggage and bought straight from farmers, giving Watermark a direct hyperlink between producers and the ultimate espresso buyer.

Native, Easy, Genuine Local weather Motion 

The Inexperienced Ocean Espresso undertaking is a long-term dedication, and Watermark Espresso is devoted to creating it successful. David believes that companies have a fair larger alternative to make a distinction. Their environmental emissions are a lot increased than the person, however additionally they have extra obtainable assets and affect.   

“The problem for companies is to interact in genuine local weather motion or carbon-reducing measures moderately than being seduced by the attract of greenwashing, which tends to be obscure intimately and grandiose in its claims. In relation to local weather motion, authenticity trumps every little thing else,” he says. 

Marguerite holds up a cup and saucer while David looks on with a coffee bag in front of Clew Bay.
Watermark Espresso is a family-owned enterprise established by Marguerite and David Lawlor in 2007. Photograph courtesy of Watermark Espresso.

David thinks companies trying to promote their sustainability initiatives ought to guarantee they reveal the value of their initiative and hold it native and easy. “It is usually necessary that the local weather motion tradition of the enterprise displays the ethos of the initiative, as it will enormously enhance its probabilities of being observed in a crowded media panorama,” he says.

The Inexperienced Ocean Espresso Challenge is continuous its restoration work in Clew Bay for the following two to 4 years. They’re additionally trying to develop to different places across the Irish coast, adapting the character of the restoration to suit geographical necessities. They hope that corporations will associate with them by deciding on their espresso merchandise as half of a bigger effort to fund and unfold consciousness about this necessary trigger. 


Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior on-line correspondent for Barista Journal, and a contract copywriter and editor with a main focus on the espresso area of interest. She has additionally been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, offering content material to assist educate individuals about baristas and their work. You’ll be able to observe her adventures at thewanderingbean.web.




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