In 2009, Drs. Niels Lindquist and Joel Fodrie at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) recruited David “Clammerhead” Cessna to work as a Commercial Fisherman Collaborator on research projects funded by the NC Sea Grant Program. Between 2010 and 2015, Clammerhead worked with many IMS faculty, graduate students and technicians on multiple oyster-focused research projects, many examining problems with oyster community development on different types of reef foundation materials. This research lead Lindquist and Clammerhead to invent a novel, biodegradable material – Oyster Catcher™ – to overcome problems and create new ways to promote oyster growth and restore/create estuarine habitats. They co-founded Sandbar Oyster Company to use Oyster Catcher™ to improve the quality and productivity of coastal ecosystems they, and so many others, depend on and cherish. Coastal degradation has tremendous negative economic implications – threatening lives, livelihoods and properties of coastal residents and estuarine ecosystems vital to resilient, sustainable fisheries. The integrity and ecological functions of coastlines worldwide are being progressively undermined by growing coastal populations, rising sea levels and intensifying storms. Restoring oyster- and salt marsh-based ecosystems are key to enhancing many coastal fisheries and protecting coastal properties and communities. In addition to improvements in environmental quality and coastal resilience, SANDBAR’s products and services will underpin robust manufacturing and deployment workforces, as the company becomes a leader offering nature-based solutions for restoring critical estuarine habitats and protecting coastal populations from the devastating impacts of shoreline erosion and flooding.