The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance (COA) Reef Builder Tier recognizes and applauds the efforts of groups that support the widespread recovery of the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population.
In 2018, the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance was established with the ambitious goal of adding 10 billion new oysters to the Bay by 2025. From large-scale oyster restoration efforts to the booming aquaculture industry to the cutting-edge science and research that continues to advance fishery management and restoration, we are witnessing the world's largest oyster recovery effort in real time—right in our own backyard. Now a coalition of more than 80 oyster growers, restoration experts, non-profits, academic institutions, businesses, and scientific advisors, the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance continues to celebrate and accelerate the oyster renaissance that's happening across the Bay.
We know there are a lot more oyster lovers out there contributing in their own way to a heathier oyster population. That's why we've created the Reef Builder Tier to recognize and celebrate those efforts.
Current COA Reef Builders
We are so grateful to our COA Reef Builders for their contributions toward a restored oyster population and our goal of 10 billion new oysters in Chesapeake Bay by 2025.
- Calvert Soil Conservation District – Prince Frederick, MD
- CGM CMA – Norfolk, VA
- Cilly Sells Sea Shells – Virginia Beach, VA
- Commonwealth Brewing – Virginia Beach, VA
- Dunloggin Middle School – Ellicott City, MD
- Epsilon Eta – College Park, MD
- First National Bank/Fish for a Cure – Annapolis, MD
- Hampton City Schools – Hampton, VA
- Local Coast – Arnold, MD
- St. Margaret's School – Tappahannock, VA
- The Atlantic on Pacific – Virginia Beach, VA
- Toadfish – Charleston, SC
Who Is Eligible to Become a COA Reef Builder?
Almost any business or organization may become a Reef Builder provided they participate in an oyster-related activity. For example, those who recycle shell, become oyster gardeners, participate in shoreline restoration or other activities that support oyster restoration may qualify. Here are just a few examples of COA Reef Builders:
- Restaurants that recycle oyster shells;
- Civic groups participating in oyster-related activities;
- Schools with an oyster-focused curriculum;
- Annual oyster-related events like large annual roasts; and
- Many others!
Why Reef Builders?
We recognize there are so many more people, businesses, and organizations who are making a positive difference in the Bay's oyster population than non-profits, oyster growers, universities, and others. For example, many large-scale restoration activities would simply not be possible without the recycled shells obtained from restaurants and oyster roasts. Nor will those efforts take hold without the ongoing education of students and the general public by schools, civic leagues, charter boat operations, and others. These are just a couple of examples of groups we want to support and recognize for their good efforts toward a restored oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay.
Benefits of Membership
Membership in the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance Reef Builder Tier is free. All approved members will be:
- given an official COA Reef Builder plaque and digital files indicating their membership to print or share online;
- listed and promoted on COA's website;
- mentioned on COA social media channels; and
- invited to special events and educational opportunities.
All potential members will complete a brief survey describing what you do to support the Bay's oyster population, and why you want a healthy oyster population. Once accepted into the Reef Builder Tier, we simply ask that you in turn support the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance by posting your Reef Builder credentials in a public space, such as your business location or website. At times, COA may call on you to help support COA events or policy initiatives. All COA programs push us closer to our 10 billion goal, and we need all hands on deck to get there!
Become a Reef Builder!
Joining is easy! Simply complete this brief interest form. After reviewing your submission, a COA staff member will reach out to you. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Chesapeake Oyster Alliance Manager Tanner Council.