Photo Credit: Beth LeFebvre/CBF Staff

Alliance Quotes

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"The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance represents a landmark commitment to restoring a keystone species in the Chesapeake Bay. This initiative will help restore hundreds of acres worth of oyster habitat, leading to improved water quality, stability in the commercial harvest of oysters, and an increase in aquaculture potential in the Bay. We are proud to partner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other dedicated organizations in this endeavor at a time when federal investments in estuary restoration are continually threatened."
Jeff Benoit
President and CEO
Restore America's Estuaries

"Oyster farming (aquaculture) plays a pivotal role in oyster restoration—primarily via shell production. Restored reefs need large volumes of shell to thrive, and the tremendous shell efficiencies generated by our collective farming practices will be key in sustaining this project. As well as in all restoration efforts that require a high-level of shell input."
Scott Richard Budden
Orchard Point Oyster Co.

"Our desire is to help the environment while developing a thriving small business that offers the consumer a product that is both sustainable and desirous. Mudgies Oyster Farm's goal is to bring back the traditional Miles River Oyster and build a sustainable oyster population which was previously depleted. We are now offering the Miles River Silver Spoon Oyster to fine restaurants from Alabama to Cape Cod. You may also find us in the Easton Farmers Market."
MJ DuBois
Mudgies Oyster Farm

"In many ways bringing back the Lynnhaven oyster has defined the work of our organization. Our work in reducing pollutants entering the river is measured by the areas open to shellfish harvest and those areas have grown from 1% in 2002 to 46% in 2018."
Karen Forget
Executive Director
Lynnhaven River NOW

"The Rhode River is unique in that we have a number of working watermen and women who are engaged in oyster aquaculture. We want to encourage that endeavor. A healthy commercial fishery is vital for promoting the growth of the oyster population. In addition, we're developing a program in conjunction with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to create several small demonstration oyster reefs to study the viability of the river for sustainable oyster populations. The side benefit will be that we will be able to exponentially expand participation by waterfront property owners in the Marylanders Grow Oysters program."
Jeff Holland
West & Rhode Riverkeeper

"I've been working the Bay since 1981 and experienced the bottoming out of the oyster industry in the 1990s. I never expected to see the wild oyster population and fishery rebound like it has in my lifetime. With continued investments in fishery replenishment and restoration our oyster industry can continue to grow."
Tommy Leggett
Chessie Seafood and Aquafarms

"The mighty oyster is the gem of our Chesapeake Bay–they filter our waters, they build homes for aquatic life, and they provide meals for many animals. Unfortunately, our waters are no longer clean, there is a shortage of homes, and many animals are going hungry. It's time to put oysters back into the Bay and leave them there to do their most important work."
Bob Lewis
St. Mary's River Watershed Association

"Volunteers working with the Great Baltimore Oysters Partnership have grown hundreds of thousands of oysters in the Inner Harbor and are excited to be joining with so many others as part of this larger effort to restore the Bay."
Adam Lindquist
Healthy Harbor Initiative—Baltimore Waterfront Partnership

"Rebuilding oyster populations is critical to the ecological and economic resilience of Chesapeake Bay. We're excited to join forces on this effort with the many contributors to the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance."
Matthew B. Ogburn, Ph.D.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Scientific Advisor to the Alliance

"The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance is an exciting cross-sector challenge that emphasizes the need to bring all stakeholders together around rebuilding the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population. There is no question that oysters provide a multitude of benefits for clean water, economics, and recreation. By setting this oyster planting target, all sectors including the government, private industry, commercial fisheries and environmentalists can play a major role in achieving that goal and ensuring that these cross-sector benefits continue to strengthen as the result of a growing oyster population. And by focusing on the cumulative planting of oysters, we can work collaboratively on a mission that stands true across all sectors - having more oysters in the bay and rivers."
Matthew Pluta
Choptank Riverkeeper

"The Elizabeth River Project is honored to be part of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance which will be a lasting legacy for oyster restoration. We have been working tirelessly with Chesapeake Bay Foundation over the past five years to restore the native oyster to the Lafayette River, and this summer this river will become the first tributary in Virginia to meet Chesapeake Bay Program goals for oyster restoration. However, there are many other rivers and waters of the Chesapeake Bay which need this same attention and this program will provide the needed focus to truly restore America's Greatest Treasure, The Chesapeake Bay."
Joe Rieger
Deputy Director—Restoration
The Elizabeth River Project

"Oysters are the iconic species of the Bay. They're so important as nature's engineers—building reefs, creating biodiversity, creating habitat—and they have a tremendous ecological impact on the Bay."
Mike Roman
Horn Point Laboratory
Scientific Advisor to the Alliance

"Oysters are a keystone species whose reefs provide critical habitat for important recreational fish species. Recreational angling supports multi-million dollar industries in the Chesapeake Bay region, and CCA Maryland is excited to be a partner in the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance effort, which will accelerate restoration of fish habitat and improve angling opportunities for the citizens of Maryland."
David Sikorski
Executive Director
Coastal Conservation Association Maryland

"Science-based oyster aquaculture technology gives us the ability to renew our critical natural populations of this keystone species and rebuild our commercial production for benefits to the ECONOMY, EMPLOYMENT and the ENVIRONMENT."
Donald Webster
Regional Specialist, Aquaculture
University of Maryland
College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Wye Research & Education Center

"The Severn River Association is excited to be part of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance that will use the incredible filtering power of our bivalve pals to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. In partnership with the Maryland Grows Oysters program, SRA's volunteer oyster growers plant 750,000 oysters on a sanctuary reef in the Severn River. But we need far more oysters to get the job done. That's why we're looking forward to working with our alliance partners — so one day we'll have enough oysters to filter the entire Chesapeake Bay every year, then every month, then every week."
Bob Whitcomb
Oyster Chairman
Severn River Association