This Week in the Watershed: From Trash Pits to Oyster Reefs

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Archaeologists can learn a lot about a civilization by looking in one place—the trash pit. In refuse piles around the Chesapeake Bay, findings from colonial times often include plenty of fish bones. But these aren't the bones of fish we typically see today. From sheepshead, to black sea bass, to tautogs—the bounty the Bay provided our forefathers featured a remarkably different menu.

But some of these fish are experiencing a revival. Look no further than the oyster sanctuaries on Maryland's Eastern Shore. From the Tilghman Reef just outside Knapps Narrows, to the oyster reefs in Harris Creek, to the Cook's Point reef ball field in the mouth of the Choptank River—the diversity of the fish population is exploding around oyster reefs.

To celebrate this species diversity, CBF, in conjunction with Coastal Conservation League's Maryland Chapter, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association Dorchester Chapter, and Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, is hosting a fishing tournament.

Entitled the Rod and Reef Slam, this is not your average fishing tournament. Rather than angling for the largest haul, participants will compete to catch (and release!) the largest number of fish species on the aforementioned Eastern Shore oyster reefs. Join us on October 7, and help us prove that oyster restoration is making a difference. Click here to learn more and register!

Want to learn more about the value of oyster reefs? Check out this beautiful and informative video exploring the remarkable ability of the Bay's beloved bivalve to heal the Bay’s troubled waters.

This Week in the Watershed: Harbor Oysters, Lafayette Love, and Shad News

  • Two thumbs up to this editorial, arguing that economic growth should not come at the expense of environmental progress. (Daily Times—MD)
  • CBF, in conjunction with Baltimore's Healthy Harbor Initiative, planted 18,000 baby oysters in the Inner Harbor, adding to the larger total of 409,000 this year. (Chesapeake Bay Magazine)
  • The future of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup is in jeopardy with major proposed cuts to restoration funding and potentially losing federal oversight for pollution reduction efforts. (Daily Times—MD)
  • Good news for Virginia's Lafayette River, as scientists from CBF and the Elizabeth River Project found improved diversity and abundance of fisheries in a recent survey. (Southside Daily—VA)
  • Love and respect for the Chesapeake Bay is found all across the political spectrum, including on Virginia's conservative Middle Peninsula. (Christian Science Monitor)
  • The public can make a difference in the future of the Atlantic menhaden, often called, "the most important fish in the sea." (Daily Press—VA)
  • Learn why CBF's upcoming event on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Rod and Reef Slam, is not your average fishing tournament. (Star Democrat—MD)
  • The future of restoring the shad population in the James River is uncertain. (Bay Journal)

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

September 23

  • Baltimore, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster–in the Inner Harbor! Activities at this oyster gardening workshop include Oyster and Bay 101, building oyster cages, and installing cages of baby oysters (spat on shell) in the harbor at the Downtown Sailing Center. Click here to register!

September 24

  • Easton, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!
  • Easton, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

September 25

  • Cambridge, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Dorchester VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Mondays, starting September 25! Click here to register!

September 26

  • Edgewater, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

September 28

  • Lynchburg, VA: Join us for a Clean Water Breakfast to learn how Virginia is faring toward reaching its water quality goals and what you can do. With the gubernatorial election right around the corner, discover what's needed in the next four years to sustain the recovery of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. Click here to register!

September 30

  • Baltimore, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster–in the Inner Harbor! Activities at this oyster gardening workshop include Oyster and Bay 101, building oyster cages, and installing cages of baby oysters (spat on shell) in the harbor. Click here to register!

October 1

  • Upper Marlboro, MD: Join us for a fun-filled afternoon with friends, live music, craft-brewed beers, and mouth-watering food created by area chefs using local ingredients at CBF's Burgers and Brews for the Bay. A family friendly event, it features live bluegrass music, hay rides, fish printing, and educational stations. Buy your tickets now!

October 3

  • Annapolis, MD: Come on board for a sail on our historic skipjack the Stanley Norman. While aboard, you'll be invited to help hoist the sails or simply enjoy the view! You will leave with a better understanding of oysters and their role in keeping the Bay clean as well as what CBF is doing to restore the oyster stocks to save the Bay. Click here to register!

October 6

  • Annapolis, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!

October 7

  • Sherwood, MD: Help us prove that oyster restoration is making a difference. Join us for our Rod and Reef Slam Fishing Tournament! Compete to catch (and release!) the largest number of fish species on three restored oyster reefs: the Tilghman Reef just outside Knapps Narrows, the Harris Creek reefs, and the Cook's Point reef ball field in the mouth of the Choptank. Don't fish? Register for the afterparty only and enjoy food, entertainment, a cash bar, and loads of information about what restored oyster reefs mean for fish in the Bay. Space is limited, register now!
  • Frederick County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 1,000 trees and shrubs along Israel Creek on a beef cattle farm in Frederick County. Approximately 5,000 feet of stream banks will be planted resulting is five acres of new riparian buffer. Israel Creek is in the Monocacy River watershed, which flows to the Potomac River then to the Chesapeake Bay. Click here to register!

October 9

  • Frederick, MD: Join us for our most in-depth adult education program available to our members and the public. VoiCeS, which stands for Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards, is a program to reach out to local volunteers and their communities to create a deeper understanding of the Bay and the efforts to restore it. The Frederick VoiCeS class is a six-week course meeting on Mondays, starting October 9. Click here to register!

October 10

  • Alexandria, VA: Join us for a Clean Water Breakfast to learn how Virginia is faring toward reaching its water quality goals and what you can do. Alexandria Renew's CEO, Karen Pallansch, will speak on the water quality challenges next administration will need to tackle and our asks of the next Governor. Click here to register!

October 12

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Join us for a Clean Water Breakfast and hear from Chris Moore, CBF's Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist and Kyle Hart, Virginia Conservation Network's Wildlife & Sportsman Organizer on how the health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved as well as the challenges facing Virginia's next governor to improve water quality, enhance fisheries, and expand wildlife habitat. Click here to register!

October 14

  • Baltimore, MD: The Great Baltimore Oyster Festival returns to Baltimore's Inner Harbor! Benefiting CBF and the Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative, the festival includes live music, oysters (raw, fried, and grilled), seafood dishes from local restaurants, beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, and family-friendly activities. The event is free to attend but you need to purchase a ticket to eat oysters. Buy tickets here!

October 15

  • Solomons, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

October 21

  • Washington County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 1,000 trees and shrubs. This planting is the final stage of restoring a floodplain in the Antietam Creek watershed. Click here to register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!
  • Annapolis, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

October 22

  • Shady Side, MD: Help grow the Bay's beloved bivalve–the mighty oyster! Join us for a new oyster gardener workshop to the supplies and training necessary to grow your own oysters. During the two-hour workshop, you will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for your oyster garden. You will also construct four oyster gardening cages that you will use to grow your oysters. Click here to register!
  • Shady Side, MD: Returning oyster gardeners can pick up their spat for the fall/winter season. Click here to register!

November 4

  • Frederick County, MD: Come help CBF plant more than 800 trees on a beautiful, diversified farm that grows organic vegetables, 100-percent grass fed beef, pastured pork, and pastured poultry. After the planting, stick around to get a farm tour to see sustainable agriculture in practice and learn more about it firsthand. Click here to register!
Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

drobinson@cbf.org

Issues in this Post

Fisheries   Advocate   Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint   Community   Conservation   Eastern Oysters   Events   Fishing   Food and Drink   Fun   Habitat Degradation   Sustainability   Water Quality   What We Have to Lose   CBF in Maryland   CBF in Virginia   Eastern Shore Office   Federal Affairs Office   Hampton Roads Office   Maryland Office, Annapolis   Pennsylvania Office   Virginia Office, Richmond  




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