Oysters play a critical role in the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. As natural water filters, oysters strain out plankton and other food suspended in water. They also provide a critical habitat and growing surface for a large number of other species, including fish like striped blennies, naked gobies, and skillet fish, as well as mud crabs, blue crabs, grass shrimp, and eels.
We were incredibly honored to host the "Mermaid's Kiss Oyster Fest" benefiting the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) last night at our Baltimore venue.
During last night's event, ORP announced its largest restoration effort on the East Coast ever. This new project will streamline large-scale efforts to improve the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay through oyster planting and water quality improvement.
Chef Karen Nicolas preparing her delicious tasting dish at last night's Oyster Fest!
There are many ways you can help support oyster recovery:
- Become an oyster gardener
- Buy local: enjoy Chesapeake Bay farmed or harvested oysters
- Patronize restaurants that are participating in the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s Shell Recycling Alliance—making sure used oyster shells go back to support restoration efforts
- Celebrate Maryland seafood by dining out at any of the restaurants participating in the From the Bay, For the Bay event the week of October 6–13, 2012. Participating restaurants will be serving fresh, locally caught Maryland seafood and will donate a dollar for every Maryland seafood dinner sold to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works to replenish the population of our native Chesapeake Bay oyster.
- Join our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) and REI staff in our bi-annual field days at the Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. In the Fall and Spring, our team, along with an amazing group of volunteers, helps to restore habitat, remove debris, do trail maintenance and plant native flowers! Since we first took ownership of this stewardship in 1999, our teams have removed more than 600,000 pieces of debris!
Thanks again to everyone who came out last night in support of our local habitats! We are one step closer to a thriving Bay!