This Week in the Watershed: An Oyster Moon Race


A single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.

Robert Diller

Bold, ambitious, and audacious goals are usually met with one of two reactions—incredulity or inspiration. President John F. Kennedy issued such a goal when he declared in 1961 that by the end of the decade an American would stand on the moon. His announcement was met with doubt and reservation, but time would reveal he was a visionary.

Fast forward to today and the Chesapeake Bay needs its own moon race. While the health of the Bay is improving, it still is a system dangerously out of balance. Which is why this week we joined with more than 30 community groups, oyster growers, universities, and non-profits to commit to a goal of adding ten billion water-filtering oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

Oysters are a keystone species of the Bay, providing a multitude of benefits. They provide critical habitat for critters, are an icon in the Bay's historic seafood industry, and are renowned for their filtering prowess. This beloved bivalve has existed for 15 million years, and at its peak there were more than one trillion oysters in the Bay. But decades of disease, pollution, and overharvesting led to their precipitous decline.

In recent years, real gains have been made in oyster restoration efforts. But to fully save the Bay we need more oysters. With these oysters, we will receive a triple bottom line benefit—clean water, more jobs, and strengthened economies.

Whether this oyster moon race is met with incredulity or inspiration, we know it won't be easy. But this goal is achievable if we work together. Join us in this effort, by signing the pledge to participate in this movement, and stay tuned in the days, months, and years ahead, as we work closely with our partners to add ten billion oysters to the Bay.

This Week in the Watershed: Drilling Forum, Bay News Funding, and Ten Billion Oysters

  • The fight to protect Maryland's forests continues, as CBF and others work to update the Forest Conservation Act. (Capital Gazette—MD)
  • The Bay Journal, a critical source for news on the health of the Bay and restoration efforts, learned it will receive the full funding of its grant from the EPA. The grant was pulled this past fall. (Washington Post)
  • In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, a long-running land use dispute about a development in the Critical Area finally reached a resolution. (Capital Gazette—MD) BONUS: CBF Statement
  • Governor Ralph Northam highlights a distinguished set of speakers addressing the prospect of oil and gas drilling off the coast of Virginia. The event is CBF's next Blue Planet Forum, March 5. (Bay Journal) BONUS: CBF Press Release
  • The management of the menhaden fishery continues to be a subject of debate in Virginia's General Assembly. (Daily Press—VA) BONUS: CBF Statement
  • EPA scientists published a new study, finding minorities and poor people are significantly more likely to be exposed to particulate matter emissions. (Greenwire)
  • CBF and a coalition of partners announced their plan to add ten billion new oysters to the Bay over the next seven years. (Virginian Pilot—VA) BONUS: Press Release

What's Happening Around the Watershed?

March 3

  • Hopewell, VA: Join us to cut harmful English ivy from park trees. The ivy is a creeping vine that can damage trees by acting as a sail in high winds. This invasive species also is not as beneficial to our native pollinators as our trees and understory plants. RSVP to Blair Blanchette at [email protected].

March 5

  • Norfolk, VA: The Bay, the critters that call it home, the tourism economy, and the many jobs that depend on clean water all have something in common—they all could be dramatically impacted by oil and gas drilling off the Virginia coast. Join us for our next installment of our Blue Planet Forum on this pending threat titled Offshore Drilling: Perspectives to Consider. The panel discussion features Governor Ralph Northam. Click here to register!

March 18

  • Virginia Beach, VA: Culinary experts have called oysters "the great undiscovered palate." With their unique flavors, characterized by the waters they live in, their complexity is comparable to the world's great wines. Join us for "From Bay to Vine, Oysters and Wine," as we explore the flavors of Bay oysters paired with Virginia wines, all while overlooking the birthplace of the American oyster industry in one of the greenest buildings in the world. Click here to register!

March 20

  • Baltimore, MD: Waterfront Partnership and CBF's film series, "Docs from the Docks" continues, showing Ocean Cities: Exploring Our Connection to the Sea. Click here to register!

March 24

Drew Robinson 90x110

Drew Robinson

Former Digital Advocacy and Outreach Manager, CBF

Issues in this Post

Fisheries   Advocacy   Conservation   Eastern Oysters   Fisheries   Restoration   Water Quality   CBF in Maryland   CBF in Virginia   Eastern Shore Office   Federal Affairs Office   Hampton Roads Office   Maryland Office, Annapolis   Pennsylvania Office   Virginia Office, Richmond  


The views and opinions expressed in the media or articles on this site are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by CBF and the inclusion of such information does not imply endorsement by CBF. CBF is not responsible for the contents of any linked Website, or any link contained in a linked Website, or any changes or updates to such Websites. The inclusion of any link is provided only for information purposes.

The Bay Needs You

The State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

Donate Today


Do you enjoy working with others to help clean the Chesapeake Bay? Do you have a few hours to spare? Whether growing oysters, planting trees, or advocating for a clean Bay, there are plenty of ways you can contribute.

This website uses cookies to tailor and enhance your online experience. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, including details on how to disable cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy. Close