Oysters have been a key player in the recovery of the Chesapeake Bay. They’re workhorses that can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day according to a recent article from Yale. Aquaculture oysters in particular play a unique role. While they may not be reproducing, they’re still recruiting other marine life and filtering water. Oysters bring grass shrimp for example, which in turn promotes populations of rockfish and crabs, with predators following them. There are three key ways in particular oysters benefit the Chesapeake Bay.
As we said above, oysters can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day. They remove plankton, algae and other particles from the water, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for other species. As part of this process, they also remove excessive nitrogen and phosphorus pollution.
Aquaculture farms and wild oyster farms create habitat in different ways, creating beneficial biodiversity in the bay. Our cages for example, become home to other creatures like mussels, barnacles and anemones while attracting other wildlife to the area. Many farms and wild oysters also recycle shells back into the bay which become valuable reefs for wildlife. They provide shelter and spawning areas for many species and protect the shoreline from wave erosion.
Oysters create jobs. This brings money back into the are directly surrounding our farm and the state as a whole. We’re proud to partner with several local businesses and to provide oysters for dozens of local markets and restaurants.
The Chesapeake Bay has been held in the balance for years, and we’re ecstatic to see the region beginning to revitalize. It makes us proud to call the Chesapeake Bay home and to continue caring for our region.