Toadfish's Marsh Madness Spring 2024: An Ode to the Ecosystems We Love

Written by: Austin King



Time to read 4 min

The month of March signifies both the metaphorical and literal “beginning” of many things. For many of us, the arrival of March may even lighten our mood. With longer days, warmer weather, and thoughts of blooming flowers on our horizons, smiles seem to suddenly appear on our faces. Newfound joy accompanies the month of March in the animal kingdom as well. For many bird species, March marks the beginning of the spring migration period, when those who migrated south to escape a cold winter begin their arduous, yet rewarding journey home. Additionally, cold-blooded animals, such as alligators, frogs, and snakes, that lay dormant during the chilly winter months begin to emerge from their hibernations. Come the month of March, nature seems to fully revitalize; even those pesky gnats make their reappearance!

A skiff/bay boat sits between a dock and the marsh grass with a blue sky overhead and calm water below

Marsh Madness is Here!

For us here at Toadfish, the first day of March is an exhilarating day. And not just because of the tailing Redfish, 80-degree days, and more backyard Lowcountry boils that are in our near future, but because March 1st marks the beginning of MARSH MADNESS: the time of the year when we, here at Toadfish, get to celebrate the ecosystems we love and vocalize how incredibly appreciative we are of those who have dedicated their lives to safeguarding them. 

Why is Toadfish Doing Marsh Madness? What is Marsh Madness all about?

A man is walking through the marsh grass carrying a bag of oyster shells that he is going to replant

Toadfish is a brand built on conservation, sustainability, and responsible practices. Our motto, “Put ‘Em Back,” emphasizes the importance of both enjoying and preserving wildlife. It urges us to appreciate the positive emotions that interactions with nature can offer us, while prioritizing the safe return of these residents of our ecosystems back to their natural habitats. On the front lines of these conservation, preservation, and sustainability efforts are 501c3 organizations like Captains for Clean Water, each state’s wildlife/conservation agencies (SCDNR in South Carolina), public benefit organizations like 4Ocean that strive to raise awareness for marine plastic pollution, and many other entities. Toadfish falls right in line with these organizations, striving to replant oyster beds across the world, creating healthier ecosystems and happier inhabitants. 

Marsh Madness Spring 2024 Schedule!

This year’s Marsh Madness will feature four weekly themes: Week 1 - Sustainable Fishing Practices, Week 2 - The Marshes of the Lowcountry, Week 3 - Our Oceans, Beaches, and their Current State, and Week 4 (You guessed it!) - The Importance of Oysters!

A man has a Toadfish Fly Rod laid accross his arms while he is crouched down in the marsh grass carefully releasing a big Redfish

Week 1 - Sustainable Fishing Practices

During Week 1 of Marsh Madness, we will dive into the importance of adhering to your state’s rules and regulations when it comes to harvesting fish, crustaceans, bivalves, and more. We will talk about what is legally, and ethically, okay to keep in accordance with the comprehensive Saltwater Fish Ruler that SCDNR kindly provides to South Carolinian saltwater anglers. We will also be partnering with our friends over at Captains for Clean Water to discuss the indispensable work they are doing to ensure optimal water quality along southeastern coastlines. 

Week 2 - The Marshes of the Lowcountry

During Week 2 of Marsh Madness, our focus will shift from the inhabitants of our beloved Lowcountry ecosystem to the very makeup of it: the Marshes of the Lowcountry. We will discuss the importance of all aspects of the marsh, from the vast expanses of Smooth Cordgrass that protect our coastlines to the quick-sand-like, smelly Pluff Mud that it grows out of. We’ll talk about the benefits of the marsh - what does it even do anyway? We’ll then talk about the hundreds of species that rely on the marsh as not only a breeding ground but also a safe place for their young to develop until they become self-sufficient.

A man in a Toadfish hat is at the beach and looking towards his friends who are sitting under an umbrella in the sand in the distance

Week 3 - Our Beaches, Oceans, and their Current State

During Week 3 of Marsh Madness, we will discuss our oceans and, our most frequented coastal resource, beaches. We will talk about both respectful beach practices and also things to look out for when on the beach. For us South Carolinians, an example of this might be resident Loggerhead Turtle Nesting areas! We will dive into the ocean plastics crisis wherein there are now more than 170 trillion microplastics in our world’s oceans. Furthermore, we will talk about how the ocean plastics crisis is a “collective action problem,” and that the daily choices we make, such as choosing reusable products over single-use/disposable ones, have a serious impact on the well-being of our oceans and beyond. Our choices dictate whether our collective impact is a positive or negative one: it is, truly, up to us.

Week 4 - The Importance of Oysters!

Finally, During Week 4 of Marsh Madness , we will get to talk about our favorite coastal organism… oysters! We will talk about why we, here at Toadfish, adore oysters, and why we think... well, actually, know that oysters are the most important piece of any ecosystem they are a part of! We will talk about what it means to be a “Keystone Species,” the importance of not “chucking after shucking” (AKA Don’t Chuck Your Shucks!), how oysters are the most sustainable protein in the world, and so much more! I mean, come on, don’t oysters get you excited?! Just me?? Oh… Moving on! 

Oysters lay in preparation to be replanted by a bunch of people who work for Toadfish in the background

We, at Toadfish, are thrilled to have you all along for the Marsh Madness ride this year! It is so vastly important to be mindful of and intentionally thankful for the natural resources that we love to enjoy. Marsh Madness serves as a tiny token of our gratitude, both to the ecosystems themselves and to their human stewards and stewardesses. Be sure to tune into our socials during the month of March to celebrate and show gratitude with Toadfish!