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June 2013

May 2013

Early 2013 Oyster Restoration Highlights In Maryland


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The 2013 oyster restoration season in Maryland has busy from day one. At MD's Oyster Restoration Center we are already on our second 'spat' set in the tanks. The four tanks were filled with spat-on-shell for the first set!  The first set totaled over 7 million spat, that is just fantastic! These 4 tanks were overseeded on an exisiting project in the Choptank River at Cooks Point that contains spat-on-shell, as well as spat on reef ball. Stay tuned to see where the next batch of oysters will call home. 

1st Tank Set 2013


IMG_0431Each Spring we ask the volunteers in Maryland's Oyster Gardening Program to return their yearling oysters in May so they can be placed out on a sanctuary reef early in the season. As oyster populations in the Bay continue to improve in health and abundance, we hope to see more spawning (breeding) in Maryland waters. Between May 1st through 5th, volunteers and I helped collect and plant over 100,000 yearling oysters. These oyster were planted in the Severn River, South River, Kent Narrows, Miles River, and Patuxent River. A special thanks to Kevin Green from the South River and Kurt Hein from the Patuxent River for lending their time to help make plantings in their river a sucess. Keep up the good work gardeners!

They support CLEAN WATER, do you?

2013 Oyster Gardening Yearling Returns

Oysters are essential to the health of the Chespeake Bay; scientists in Virginia and Maryland recently found that restored oyster reefs in the Chesapeake Bay can absorb up to 10 times more nitrogen than areas of the estuary without healthy reefs.  This study provided new evidence that replanting and rebuilding oyster reefs can clean up the nation’s largest estuary, according to the researchers. Take a look here:  “Denitrification and Nutrient Assimilation on a Restored Oyster Reef.”

-- Meghan Hoffman (CBF Staff)


Teamwork! MD + VA Oyster Crew & Volunteers Plant 225 Reef Balls In Lafayette River.

To help boost the river’s oyster population, CBF's Oyster Team placed 250 low-pro reef balls on state-protected sanctuary reefs and along designated shorelines at 5 sites in the Lafayette River. The reef balls, domed concrete structures full of nooks and crannies, are designed to attract baby oysters and help protect them from natural predators.  This river has had a great 'spat' set the past several seasons and we hope this year is no exception. These reef balls will provide a great surface for these baby oysters 'spat' to start a new reef. To tackle the reef ball job, CBF called upon its two uniquely designed oyster restoration vessels, the Patricia Campbell from Maryland and Chesapeake Gold from Gloucester, Va.

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Other partners in the effort include Restore America’s Estuaries and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, funders of the project; the Rotary Club of Norfolk, which years ago raised money to build a sanctuary reef in the Lafayette; and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which oversaw construction of the reef and monitors its progress.


What an adventure, this great project wouldn't have been possible without some great teamwork from many orgainzations as well as all the volunteers who helped ensure planting 250 reef balls in two days seem like a piece of cake.  


Photo Below- The Va Oyster Center in Gloucester, VA with reef balls ready to load, the deck of Chesapeake Gold loaded with reef balls for the trip to Norfolk, and VA Oyster Team Tommy Leggett, Jackie Shannon, and Sara Rogers.


Photo Below- A bobcat helping maneuver reef balls in position and 225 reef balls being loaded on deck of the Patricia Campbell. 


- Meghan Hoffman