Establishing Oyster Beds

by Gayle G Enterprises
Establishing Oyster Beds

Gayle G Enterprises is preparing 20 acres of natural oyster beds to sustain a healthy and productive shellfish harvest for years to come.

Project Summary
  • Location: Branford, CT
  • Products: Aquaculture
  • Loan Term: 60 months
  • Interest Rate: 8.00% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 9 months after disbursement
  • Individual Lender Cap: $3,000
100% of $101,500

Funded on 12/08/2021


Andrew Wilhelm purchased his first boat the “Gayle G” back in 2016. This classic lobster boat soon became the namesake for Andrew’s business, Gayle G Enterprises, a sustainable shellfish company out of Branford, Connecticut. Operating initially as a subcontractor to manage other local shellfish operations, this season the plan is to expand their business by establishing their own natural oyster beds utilizing a regenerative approach.  

With the help of their two boats, “Gayle G” and “Oyster Scow,” Andrew and his crew will be preparing 20 acres of natural oyster beds, allowing for a sustainable harvest starting in the summer of 2022. Located near an outlet on the Housatonic River, the natural tide structure forms an eddy that circulates an abundance of nutrients, creating the perfect conditions to produce oysters year after year. This plot that they're currently seeding for next summer's harvest, is a part of a larger 50 acre plot of certified shellfish grounds that Gayle G Enterprises has the opportunity to fully purchase next year. This fall’s work will be setting the foundation for their future home.  

Use of Funds

Gayle G Enterprises will use a loan from Steward to prepare 20 acres of oyster beds on certified shellfish grounds. With oyster boxes and a new boat motor in hand, time is of the essence to bring on a team of 6 crewmates to seed oysters this fall. In addition to gear and labor, funds will also be used to secure the necessary licensing and permits.

Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

Gayle G Enterprises utilizes the following techniques to achieve its mission of building and sustaining healthy shellfish beds, all while contributing to the economic and ecological health of their local community:

  • Shell-shifting and stirring promote natural growth and seeding by creating an environment in which oysters thrive.

  • Sustainable harvest management techniques are utilized to ensure natural populations of oysters for subsequent years.

  • Oysters are natural filter feeders, meaning they feed by pumping water through their gills. A single healthy oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day. By creating a sustainable oyster bed, Gayle G Enterprises is working to improve water quality for other aquatic life.

  • Employing a team of 6 crewmates provides critical training and experience for new workers in the industry.
  • December 08, 2021

    Fundraising Goal Reached

    Thanks everybody for participating in my project! We here at Gayle G enterprises are extremely grateful and we're ready to hit the ground running! Stay tuned for more exciting updates as the oyster season progresses.

Motor and Gear - $13,000: This includes a new boat motor and the gear needed to prepare oyster beds this fall. 

Fuel and Maintenance - $8,000: This includes fuel for both boats and emergency replacement parts. 

Labor - $66,000: This includes employing two captains and four crewmates. 

Licensing and Permits - $14,500: This includes seed oyster permits and license, boat registration, doc fees, and watercraft insurance. 

Total Budget - $101,500

This loan will be made to Gayle G Enterprises, a Connecticut limited liability company, which sustainably prepares and harvests natural shellfish beds.

This loan is for preparing 20 acres of oyster beds on certified shellfish grounds for harvest next season. 

The total loan amount is $101,500 which will assist Gayle G Enterprises in growing and expanding their business.

This loan is set at an 8% interest rate, with a 60-month term, and fully amortized monthly payments beginning 9 months after funds are disbursed.

Borrower Loan Agreement Download
Lender Participation Agreement Download

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