Let's give a warm, watery welcome to billions of new Maryland residents: oysters. That's how many baby bivalves or "spat-on-shell" have been planted on man-made Maryland oyster reefs in the past few years by the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP). Millions of spat have been planted in the Severn, Choptank, West, and Rhodes Rivers, as well as the Cook's Point Oyster Sanctuary.
On May 6, 2014, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation organized an expedition to investigate the Somerset Oyster Sanctuary restoration site in Tangier Sound. Researchers made a remarkable discovery.
In 2003, the Maryland Environmental Service began a novel approach to restore the Chesapeake Bay's lost oyster reef structure. Large concrete reef balls, on which baby oyster "spat" were set, were lowered into three areas designated as oyster sanctuaries by Maryland's General Assembly. This expedition investigated one of those sanctuaries. Watch the video.