Thursday, September 29th – Two weeks away!
We are pleased to announce that we will be delivering your oysters to you on Thursday, September 29, 2016. We make the deliveries roughly between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Kelsey Spiker will be giving you a reminder call several days beforehand.
If you are a new grower, we will deliver your cages to you already filled with oysters, i.e., “spat-on-shell”. If humanly possible, please try to be there when we arrive so that our volunteers can work with you to determine the location on your dock that is best suited for the oysters and you. If you simply cannot be there, we will do our best to determine a good location and will follow up with you regarding what you need to do next.
If you are an existing grower, we left your cages on your dock when we picked up your oysters this past spring. If you took them off of your dock for winter storage, please make sure to locate them where you want them before we arrive. We will bring buckets of “spat-on-shell” with us and we will fill your cages when we arrive.
Cage Preparation: Pre-Delivery
For our existing growers: As most of you know, we have a small cadre of volunteers who make the pick-up and delivery of your oysters possible. We simply can’t operate without them.
To make their difficult job as easy as possible (we want to keep them as volunteers), it is very important that you do several things before they arrive.
- If you have not already done so, please make sure that your cages are clean before our volunteers arrive.
- As we mentioned above, please make sure your cages are placed on the surface of the dock in the best location possible.
If your cages are still moderately to heavily fouled with growth and have been kept out of the water, please take the following simple steps to clean them before we arrive:
1) Firmly bang your cages several times on your dock to remove the loosest of the dried growth from them.
2) Place the cages in the water for 24 to 48 hours to soften the remaining growth.
3) Use a scrub brush and terry cloth towel to remove the remaining growth and rinse the cages with water. You will need to repeat this process several times to get them clean, but it usually doesn’t take more than 5-7 minutes per cage. If you do not have a hose, you can simply dunk your cages in the water to remove the growth that you have loosened by scrubbing.
4) When clean (they don’t have to be perfect), please leave the cages on the surface of your dock in the best location possible.
If you left your cages in the water over the summer, please take the following steps:
- Take your cages out of the water and place them on your dock for 48 hours. This should allow the growth to dry and become crusty.
- Firmly bang your cages several times on your dock to remove the loosest of the dried growth from them.
- Place the cages in the water for 24 hours to soften the remaining growth.
- Follow steps number 3 & 4 in the section above.
If you left your cages in the water over the summer, it will take you more than the 5-7 minutes per cage noted above, but they can still be made clean with a bit of effort. We thank you in advance for doing everything possible to make our volunteer’s jobs as easy as possible!
Since we started our initiative a little over five years ago, our goal had been to double our number of growers every year. In our first year, we attracted 16 growers. In our second year, we increased that to 34. In our third year, we had 84 growers and we planted the 122,000 oysters that they grew on a sanctuary created for us by the State of Maryland. In 2014, we had 162 growers and planted 200,000 oysters. In 2015, we had 257 growers and planted 220,000 oysters. After 2015, we modified our goal of doubling every year (which is much easier to do when the numbers are smaller!) to 100 new growers per year. As of today, we have signed up 96 new growers for our sixth season – we are at 96% of our goal! We thank you for your participation and for helping us to achieve our goals!
WE NEED HELP!!
If you would like to help out as a volunteer for the oyster delivery, please call Kelsey at 410-822-9143. We need all of the help we can get AND WE DON’T YET HAVE ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS. We need 35 additional individuals and 16 more trucks or cars with trailers. As my mom is prone to remind her four sons, “Many hands make light work!”
We will be in touch with you again prior to the delivery date. If we can assist you in any way, please call Kelsey at 410-822-9143. Thanks again!
Scott W. Eglseder, Founder
The Chesapeake Bay “Advance and Protect” Oyster Reef Recovery Initiative