HERE’S HOW IT USED TO BE
In 1884 the high harvest for oysters was 15 million bushels. In 2010 the annual harvest amount was 185,245 bushels. Since 1994, the Chesapeake Bay oyster population has languished at 1% of historic levels.
Today – 1 oyster per square yard
1800’s – 100 oysters per square yard
The Chesapeake Bay was once world famous for its incredible supply of oysters, so numerous they were a navigational hazard . H.L. Mencken described the Bay as, “An immense protein factory.” The key role of the oyster in the ecosystem of the Bay, however, is not as a food source but as a filter for sediment and pollutants in the water. Oyster reefs also provide vital habitats for hundreds of other species. If we don’t take action now to rehabilitate oyster populations, the long-term effects to the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay could be catastrophic.
RESTORING THE CHESAPEAKE BAYChesapeake Bay oysters have the amazing ability to clean the Bay and restore ecosystem health yet they depend on human collaboration through pollution reduction. This video was created by the daughter of one of our oyster growers and features Chris Judy, Director of the Shellfish Division for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Watch The Full Video
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