Citizens Working to Enhance Maryland's Oyster Reefs
Welcome to Marylanders Grow Oysters, where hundreds of waterfront property owners are growing millions of young oysters in cages suspended from private piers. Their goal? To protect young oysters during their vulnerable first year of life, so they may be planted on local sanctuaries where the oysters enrich the ecosystem and our oyster population.
There is no charge to participants, but the rewards – both personal and ecological – are significant. By fostering these young oysters, our citizen partners are also generating an abundance of fish and other aquatic life and creating live bottom, populated by oysters and other creatures, on sanctuaries closed to harvesting.
Initiated by Governor Martin O’Malley in September 2008, Marylanders Grow Oysters is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and local organizations. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections inmates produce the cages for the program.
In the News
Oyster Cage Update
Currently, in summer 2013, the 30 creeks and rivers in the program are removing their oysters from the cages and planting them in sanctuaries. Growing on the bay’s bottom, the oysters will improve the ecology of the sanctuary sites.
Where is Marylanders Grow Oysters?
The Marylanders Grow Oysters Program began in 2008 in the Tred Avon River. It has expanded since then to many additional creeks and rivers. View a map of all the tributaries.