National Oyster Day 2021


Each oyster sold August 5-8 helps plant 10 baby oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay

Each oyster sold August 5-8 helps plant 10 baby oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay 

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, August 3 – Oyster specials and promotions will be the highlight of menus at participating restaurants during National Oyster Weekend. Kicking-off on National Oyster Day (Thursday, August 5) and wrapping up Sunday, August 8, the food holiday celebrates the Chesapeake Bay’s iconic bivalve, and encourages the public to support Bay-friendly restaurants that recycle oyster shells as part of Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Shell Recycling Alliance. A small portion of proceeds will benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), the leading nonprofit working to rebuild the Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population. 

“After a tough pandemic year, it’s never been more important to support these restaurants by visiting them to enjoy oysters and local seafood dishes. They are critical partners in our shell recycling efforts. We cannot do what we do without them,” said ORP Executive Director Ward Slacum. “We encourage everyone to do their part by visiting these generous restaurants who have committed to a healthier Chesapeake Bay.” 

The more than 30 restaurants participating in National Oyster Weekend are also members of ORP’s Shell Recycling Alliance, which reclaims oyster shell used to rebuild oyster reefs in the Chesapeake. Participating restaurants are offering a variety of oyster specials during the National Oyster Weekend, from free oysters to contest giveaways.   

“The Mt. Washington Tavern has been a dedicated member of the Shell Recycling Alliance since it was established in 2010,” said Rob Frisch, owner.  “We’re grateful that ORP has continued this important work, and for the continued opportunity to celebrate and support our great asset, the Chesapeake Bay.” 

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore City’s Mayor Brandon Scott have each proclaimed August 5th-8th as Maryland and Baltimore’s official Oyster Weekend.  

ORP works collaboratively with its restoration partners to deploy shells with spat attached onto strategically selected sites in the Chesapeake Bay. These efforts aim to bolster oyster populations and recreate large, healthy reefs last seen 50 to 100 years ago. 

Oysters are a critical species to the Bay’s long-term recovery because they filter excess nutrients and serve as habitat for a multitude of marine life. Over the past two-and-a-half decades, the Oyster Recovery Partnership has planted approximately 9 billion oysters on 2,500 underwater acres throughout Maryland. 

National Oyster Weekend is generously sponsored by Maryland’s Best Seafood and the Maryland Department of Agriculture. “2020 was an especially tough year for the seafood industry, but this is a resilient group of men and women,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “We are proud to sponsor National Oyster Weekend to help these businesses that give back to the Bay and recovery of its native oyster population.”  To learn more about Maryland oysters and Maryland seafood, visit . 

For more information on National Oyster Weekend, and to view a list of participating restaurants, oyster specials and promotions, visit


CONTACT: Paul Schurick, Director of Partnerships, at [email protected] or 443.994.4348.