Gray and lumpy but endlessly lovable, oysters are true heroes for the Chesapeake Bay. Explore an oyster reef and learn about this keystone species’ remarkable place in the Bay ecosystem. Investigate how fish, crabs, and other critters use oyster reefs as homes. Take the oyster quiz to test your knowledge and uncover the secret life of our favorite mollusk. And find out how you can help the Bay’s oyster population recover—including supporting local oyster farmers for National Seafood Month, becoming a CBF oyster gardener (cats welcome), and supporting the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance’s goal to add 10 billion oysters to the Bay by 2025.
We know oysters are great natural filters for clean water. But there’s so much more to learn about the Bay’s favorite bivalve. For instance, do oysters have dreams? Or mid-life crises? Take our oyster quiz to find out what secrets lie beyond the hard, outer shell of these tight-lipped mollusks.
The Bay’s oyster population is a small fraction of historic levels. Luckily, we have great volunteers (including a talented feline in Norfolk, Virginia) helping to restore this vital species by growing oysters through CBF’s Oyster Gardening Program. Once grown, the adult oysters are planted on sanctuary reefs to help restore and clean up local waters.
What would the Chesapeake region be without its iconic seafood? From rockfish, blue crab, oysters, and more, it’s not only tasty, it drives the local economy. We’re calling on all Bay watershed residents—from Cooperstown, New York all the way down to Virginia Beach, Virginia—to join us in October as we celebrate each Saturday as Buy Chesapeake Bay Seafood Days.
Most of us who love the Chesapeake Bay know that oysters once existed in storied numbers, long before poor water quality, disease, and harvesting nearly put an end to them. This film explores oysters as a keystone species with a remarkable, and it seems, indispensable ability to heal the Bay’s troubled waters.
Did you know oysters create homes for other critters? Join CBF Educator Kellie Fiala to explore how fish and a wide variety of aquatic life use three-dimensional oyster reefs to hide from predators. Then, try the Oysters and a Clear Bay Investigation to learn more about the value of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
What You Can Do
- Register for our upcoming webinars, including next week's Save the Bay with Sustainable Lawn Care: A Glenstone Museum Example.
- Take your knowledge of the Bay to the next level. Join our Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards (VoiCeS) course that begins next Tuesday.
- Sign the pledge to show your support and stand with CBF as we take EPA to court.
- Sign up for our weekly Save the Bay e-newsletter—a weekly roundup of uplifting Bay stories, inspirational videos, helpful teaching resources, and much more.
- Now through September 30, your gift to save the Bay and its rivers and streams will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 thanks to our generous friends at Leidos. Give today and your donation will be doubled.