Our Story

WHERE IT BEGINS

The lush backdrop of Louisiana swamplands is where it all began. Osprey owner and founder Don Bates grew up exploring the drainage ditches of Hammond, LA with his brother, Kiley, in pursuit of crawfish, minnows, frogs, turtles, and amphiumas. You could often find Don and Kiley roaming the land at the Bates family camp in Manchac, LA, where they had free reign to anywhere their hip boots or pirogues could take them.

Nature was practically the family business—their grandfather was a state and federal game warden and several family members are commercial fisherman, conservationists, and swampers. This deep appreciation for the environment was the beginning of the foundation for Osprey Initiative.

OSPREY INITIATIVE IS BORN

The Osprey Initiative story officially began in the fall of 2017. Don was participating in a volunteer cleanup with his employer, Thompson Engineering, and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program (MBNEP) of the Maple Street Tributary of One Mile Creek in Mobile, AL. Over 200 bags of litter were removed that day from a 400-yard section of the canal. The majority of the litter was from stormwater runoff. If this was recovered in 400-yards, how much litter remained in the hundreds of miles of watershed?

Don had already been thinking of an economical, tactical solution to prevent this very issue. Unfortunately, a few more rains would bring litter back to the place they had just cleaned. It was time to start developing his idea for a long-term solution.

AN ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTION

We wanted to develop a low cost, low maintenance device that could be installed and moved easily. The device needed to be low impact and able to be tactically placed to intercept litter at the source. The Litter Gitter was born from this concept. We installed the prototype Litter Gitter in the Maple Street tributary of One Mile Creek in October of 2017.
 
We currently have Litter Gitters deployed at 20+ locations in six separate watersheds with several more pending. We are continuously modifying our deployment strategies to insure that we are working with the natural flows of our waterways and using these flows or landforms to maximize our efficiency.