Our Name

The Osprey

We are often asked the origin of our name and there are several reasons. As a kid in the 70’s, the sight of ospreys or eagles was the equivalent of a unicorn sighting. The pesticide DDT severely impacted the osprey, eagle, and pelican populations. The toxic effects of the chemical resulted in weak egg shells or, in some cases infertile eggs. Fortunately, DDT was banned, habitats were protected and enhanced, and these iconic birds came roaring back. If you’re along Gulf Coast waters today, it’s highly likely you will spot an osprey. The osprey relies on the ebb and flow of nature to survive. They are efficient at plucking their sustenance from the surrounding waters and are adept at playing their role in the environment.

The Challenge

The Initiative part of our name is meant to assert action. Our challenge to ourselves and our partners is “What are YOU going to do about it”. At Osprey Initiative, our devices and programs start with observing what the natural environment is telling us. We then try to design the simplest, most effective solutions to minimize our impact to the natural world. The osprey resurgence is a great example – if we can identify the problem and do something about it, we can remedy the problem. We challenge ourselves to overcome the obstacles, ignore the malcontents, and lead by example to bring real world solutions to help solve environmental issues.

The Connection

The personal ties to the environment and the osprey name run deep. Owner and founder Don Bates’ favorite place in the world was the south shore of Lake Maurepas in Manchac, Louisiana. His Uncle Charles has several sets of fishing lines where they catch blue cats, yellow cats, and alligator gars. The first fishing line is tied off to an ancient cypress tree, where one osprey or another has nested for decades. This local landmark serves as Don’s confirmation that he is back home in the waters that have provided for his family for over a century. These are his waters and he hopes that we all have our own home waters that soothe our souls, tie us to our past, and excite us about our future for generations to come.