LARGEST OYSTER RESTORATION EFFORT ON THE EAST COAST
The Oyster Recovery Partnership has teamed up with state and federal partners to restore native oyster reefs on five Maryland tributaries in the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. It’s the largest oyster restoration effort ever conducted in the Chesapeake Bay and East Coast. Harris Creek was the first tributary slated for restoration within the Choptank River complex and work has begun on the Little Choptank River and Tred Avon rivers. Major activities include rebuilding the reef substrate, planting new reefs with baby oysters to jump start the native oyster population and monitoring the results. Billions of baby oysters will be placed within the protected sanctuary in Harris Creek, rebuilding hundreds of acres of once-viable oyster reefs to population levels last seen 50 to 100 years ago.
To date, we have already rebuilt more than 250 acres in Harris Creek and 23 acres in the Little Choptank River. This project will also establish a blueprint to expand large scale oyster restoration efforts to other tributaries in the Bay. Only healthy estuarine habitats will support the rich variety and abundance of life once found in the Bay, as well as provide benefits to people economically, socially and culturally.
ORP is seeking to raise $1,000,000 toward oyster restoration in these tributaries. All donations will be matched with $3 for every $1 we raise through a public-private partnership with the State of Maryland and The Nature Conservancy. For every $5,000 raised, ORP can recycle 100 bushels of shells and plant 500,000 oysters. Funding is our only holdback as ORP and our partners have the capacity to produce 2 billion oysters and plant 500 acres per year.
We hope that you will support this vital environmental program and help us return the Bay to population levels last seen decades ago.
Here’s a look at the oyster reefs we have repopulated on Harris Creek and the Little Choptank River:
And coming soon to the Tred Avon …