Mike's Blog

head_left_image

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation... Restoring Oyster Beds Throughout the Chesapeake

By now most Americans have heard about the devastated oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay. Since the beginning of the 20th century, oyster beds throughout the Bay steadily declined thanks to advances in canning techniques and harvesting technologies. But one organization is fighting back with a vengeance...the Chesapeake Bay Foundation(CBF)...restoring oyster beds throughout the Chesapeake.Oysters are a critical element of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem

 

Restoring an oyster bed begins about a year before the oysters are actually dropped in the water. Used oyster shells are collected(PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't throw out your used oyster shells...they CAN be recycled), washed and placed in bins that are constantly flushed with bay water. Free-swimming oyster larvae(Spat) are collected and deposited on the recycled shells. Baby oysters are grown under piers by volunteers who watch over the youngsters.

 

While those young oysters are growing, the new reef is created using concrete chunks from old highways, cinderblocks, etc...anything that can create a hard base that keeps the oysters from being covered by silt.

 

After a year, the oysters are then dropped overboard by volunteer boats into the new reefs. Year old oysters have thicker shells that are able to withstand predators such as the venerable blue crab.Oyster reefs throughout the Chesapeake

 

Oyster beds created and guarded by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation have great growth and survival rates. And the numbers keep growing...in 2009 Maryland alone has generated over 750 Million Spat for oyster reefs. This growth is amazing considering just a decade ago that number was less than 10 Million for all Chesapeake States combined.

 

The oyster population in the Bay is not where it needs to be at all...but with the efforts of the CBF....the population has a chance...a fighting chance.

 

 

Donate to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

  • $25 can plant five native trees as a streamside buffer.

  • $50 can grow 5,000 native oysters.
     
  • $150 can pay a teacher's tuition for a five-day professional development course.
     
  • $500 can send eight students for a day of learning in and around the Bay.
     
  • $1,000 can remove 600 pounds of trash from the Bay and its tributaries.
     
  • $2,500 can pay for seven students' tuition for a 7-day student leadership program.
     
  • $5,000 can fund 125 hours of policy advocacy at the state and federal levels.
     
  • $10,000 can fund 300 hours of scientific field research including testing water quality and evaluating the health and populations of marine and plant life within the Bay and tributary waters.
  • Mike Hogan

    Associate Broker

    RE/MAX Commonwealth

    (804)503-0811

    RVARealtor1@gmail.com

    ____________________________________________________________________________________


     

    Comment balloon 5 commentsMike Hogan • November 23 2009 09:44PM

    Comments

    This post was really fascinating to me Mike, thanks.  I have lived in Southern Maryland my whole life and I had no idea that oyster shells could be recycled and new oysters could be "grown".  Wow, that is so cool.  I am holding out hope that our blue crab population can be brought back to its heyday as well. 

    Dawn

    Posted by Dawn Bush, Southern Maryland Real Estate (Exit Landmark Realty) almost 8 years ago

    Dawn- you know it's only been recently that I learned about this process. It's awesome what these guys are doing. They really need everyone's support!  I too would love to see a comeback in the blue crab population. Maybe that'll be the subject of my next post.

    Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

    Dawn- you know it's only been recently that I learned about this process. It's awesome what these guys are doing. They really need everyone's support!  I too would love to see a comeback in the blue crab population. Maybe that'll be the subject of my next post.

    Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your post and educating people about the Chespeake Bay and the restoration of oyster beds.  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a wonderful organization and they are working hard for a worthy cause.  It's amazing what donations can do to help them.  Again, thank you for taking the time to write about their efforts to restore the oyster beds.  Have a great week!

    Chris

    Posted by Chris Minion (O'Brien Realty) almost 8 years ago

    Chris- thanks for the comment! You are correct....the CBF is a wonderful organization that does alot more than just oyster bed restoration. Being in Southern Maryland- you know how important the oyster and crab population is to the Bay.

    Posted by Mike Hogan, MBA (The Hogan Group at Keller Williams Realty) almost 8 years ago

    Participate