Oyster restoration on sanctuary reefs is a key component to the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance.
Experience, adaptive management, and cutting-edge science are teaching us more about restoration every year, but much work remains to be done. Not only will restoration rebuild habitat and water filtration capacity, but restored sanctuary reefs will produce oyster larvae for winds and tides to disperse to harvest bars.
In recent years, the pace and scale of oyster restoration has been greatly accelerated by state and federal agencies' efforts—including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and Maryland Department of Natural Resources, working with groups like the Oyster Recovery Partnership—to implement the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement goal of restoring 10 Bay tributaries by 2025.
Restoration programs face management and funding challenges that must be overcome if we are to continue or even surpass this pace. Continuing to support these large-scale oyster restoration efforts and help complete the 10 tributary restoration goal is a primary objective of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance.
While large-scale restoration efforts are critical, there are many ways for the average citizen to help increase oyster populations. Smaller-scale efforts like oyster gardening, volunteering with local non-profit restoration work, assisting with shell-recycling, and supporting your local oyster growers are just some of the ways you can support our efforts to add 10 billion to the Bay! To learn more, please visit our Get Involved page.