Oysters and You
Young oysters, called spat, are small, vulnerable and subject to numerous stresses in open waters. In your cages however, they can grow protected from smothering silt and from predation by blue crabs. By making your pier a temporary home and providing protection and care for the young oysters, you will give them an optimal start in life.
Through your participation, you will also create new life for the river. Thousands of organisms will inhabit your cages, which will become miniature living oyster reefs suspended from your pier. Each time you pull a cage onto your pier you’ll view an abundance of aquatic life such as mud crabs, grass shrimp, worms, and numerous fish such as blennies, gobys, baby eels and minnows - an educational and inspiring experience for you and your family.
Additionally, each cage with spat at about one inch in size will filter up to 50 gallons per hour per cage. Oysters and other creatures in the cage eat and remove algae, which is far too abundant in the Bay.
Given the oyster’s function as an important Bay species, Maryland and its partners have implemented a large scale native oyster restoration program; the oysters that you grow will support these efforts.
BE A BAY STEWARD
Growing oysters and living reefs are only part of the solution. Everyone needs to play a role in restoring the health of the Bay. From buffer planting to cleaner boating, learn how you can help at one of these sites: