OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
Here in south Louisiana, water is as much a part of the local landscape as is solid ground. And with coastal erosion, the ratio is becoming more skewed every year. Fortunately, environmental entrepreneurs are figuring out ways to help us deal with our water and coastal issues while also building viable businesses.
Take Tyler Ortego, an environmentalist, engineer and aentrepreneur, who got his start with the Shaw Group and went out on his own in 2006 to found Ora Estuaries.
Ora Estuaries uses engineered oyster reefs for coastal shoreline protection. The company got its start in the LSU Business and Technology Center and uses a developing technology that Tyler developed, called oyster scaffolding. As its name suggests, it involves growing oyster reefs in strategic locations where the coastline is eroding. Lord knows, there are plenty such places along the Gulf Coast of south Louisiana and Ora Estuaries is partnering with local communities to help them grow their own oyster reefs into the building blocks of coastal protection.
Ron Malone is also an environmental engineer. Ron created a water filtration system more than 30 years ago called bead filitration. That system is now the basis for several products sold by his company, Aquaculture Systems Technologies, or AST. AST handles a wide range of filtration needs for a variety of industries, including aquaculture and fish hatchery systems, home koi ponds, and wastewater filtration, among others.
Nearly $30 million in research has supported the advancement of Ron’s technology and associated aquaculture systems, and his patented products are used worldwide.
You might be suprisied by the level of technological innovation that's going on right here in Baton Rouge!
Photos by Eric Murrell at Mansurs on the Boulevard.