On June 11, 2012 the Chesapeake Bay Foundation opened a new office on the Eastern Shore (pictured below), located in the heart of Easton. The new office in the Bullitt House on E. Dover Street (right across from the Tidewater Inn) will directly support our efforts to defend and implement the Bay clean water blueprint in Maryland.
CBF's MD Oyster Gardening Program was established in 1998 and has been serving as a method of direct engagement with improving the Bay's water quality for more than a decade. The fight for clean water is well under way but more needs to be done. CBF's Eastern Shore office is focusing on educating and motivating citizens to help support clean water efforts and fighting back against efforts to increase pollution in the area.
On September 14th and September 22nd CBF's MD Oyster Gardeners stopped by Chesapeake BayFoundation's new office in Easton, MD to meet Bess Trout, MD's Eastern Shore Grassroots Field Specialist (shown below), and to pick up their new set of 'spat' from Meghan Hoffman and Carmera Thomas. Year after year CBF's oyster gardeners' on the Eastern Shore produce some great looking oysters.
Excited new gardeners Lee Travers and Barbara Catherwood (both shown in the photo below) attended CBF's Oyster Workshop on Sept 22nd and built 8 cages to hang off their pier. Recently they purchased a 10 acre tract of land (4 acres of wetlands) on the Little Choptank and were eager to help SAVE THE BAY!
Noah Bradshaw (shown below) a long time gardener from Crisfield, MD made the drive to Easton to pick up 8 bags of 'spat'. With the help of several volunteers, he tends a collection of Taylor Floats and cages at the Crisfield Museum. There is an educational oyster reef at the museum where visitors can learn the history of oystering in a watermen's community, and enjoy an interactive experience of tonging up oysters using hand nippers.
Just as the event was winding down on the first official day of fall, Eric Axilbund (shown below) pulls into the Bullit House parking lot eager to pick up his new set of 'spat' and to drop off close to 4,000 large and healthy yearling oysters. He is an energetic and enthusiastic gardener that keeps 12 cages of oysters off his dock, while a typical gardener keeps four. Most gardeners return their 'spat' in May, but Mr. Axilbund likes to see how big his oysters will get, so he tends his cages for a full year. His contribution doubled our oyster returns for the day!
CBF's Maryland Oyster Gardening Program only has two workshops left this fall, and we look forward to signing up new gardeners who are excited about restoring an important species in the Bay! Individual actions do make a difference, make a stand for CLEAN WATER NOW and join CBF's Oyster Gardening Program.
(Photos by Meghan Hoffman/CBF Staff. Photo One: CBF's Eastern Shore Office on the 3rd Floor of the Bullit Building. Photo Two: Choose Clean Water Now! and 2012 Oyster Gardening 'Spat' on Shell. Photo Three: Bess Trout CBF's Eastern Shore Grassroots Field Specialist covered in oyster much at Horn Point Labratory. Photo Four: Lee Travers and Barbara Catherwood of Cambridge, MD making their oyster gardening cages. Photo Five: Oyster Gardener Noah Bradshaw of Crisfield, MD. Photo Six: Oyster Gardener Eric Axilbund with his 2012 crop of yearling oysters. Photo Six: Oyster Love, Stickers, 'Spat' and More.)
-- Meghan Hoffman with contribution from Carmera Thomas