I Love this Goal: 10 Billion More Oysters

Oyster reef. Photo credit: Jay Fleming Photography.

I love this goal: Adding 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

A partnership of more than 20 organizations, businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions announced that objective earlier today. The 10 billion oysters will come from a combination of expanded restoration activities, fishery repletion activities, and the continued growth of the Bay’s oyster aquaculture industry.

“Oysters are so much more than the tasty bivalves that many know them to be. They are a crucial part of our ocean planet,” said John Racanelli, National Aquarium chief executive officer. “They help keep our waterways clean by removing harmful pollutants and they provide a hospitable place for other animals to live—from the backwaters of the Chesapeake Bay to the vast Atlantic Ocean.”

The partnership has established as its top three priorities ensuring robust funding for oyster restoration, establishing sound science-based management that ensures sustainable harvest of the Bay’s oyster population, and expanding the oyster aquaculture industries in Maryland and Virginia.

While I am a skeptic of global-warming alarmism, I consider myself an environmentalist. I happen to think that there are more productive ways to spend scarce public dollars than re-engineering the industrial economy of the globe to adjust CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Locally, we can accomplish far more good by investing funds in restoring the health and adaptability of the Chesapeake Bay. Oysters are a keystone species. If we can restore their numbers, we can make a huge, visible difference.

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7 responses to “I Love this Goal: 10 Billion More Oysters

  1. Finally something that is going to pay off rather than the same old crap.

  2. You can’t “care” about the oysters.. without “caring” about the environment that sustains them… “real” environmentalists KNOW that.

    just assuming the Chesapeake Bay is a static environment that will always be there .. is not really understanding the connection between the laws and regulations that are necessary to protect and sustain the environment – and the critters that live in that environment.

    Bacon talks about Climate Science – but way before then – we have the concept of TMDLs which directly affect the sediment and runoff that can and has – killed the oysters.

    It’s like some folks don’t see the connection between the laws and regs and the environment that sustains the critters.. they just assume the “environment” is there by default.

  3. There is an active community of individuals who also cultivate oysters to help the bay of which we are a part.
    An adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day; so in quantity the impact is fairly substantial.

  4. Here’s the new “partnership” web site: http://www.tenbillionoysters.org
    There’s not a lot of real information here, just some feel-good stuff, but an impressive list of participants. I can’t but notice, it doesn’t (yet?) include the organization that has actually done more than any other I know to promote the growing of oysters in the Bay by ordinary citizens: the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA): http://www.oystergardener.org
    I will look for their endorsement or views on this new initiative.

  5. As I recall a recent good year for oyster harvests in the bay was 2015 when 1 million bushels were harvested. At 100 oysters per bushel that’s 100m oysters. Ten billion divided by 100m is 100. This plan calls for adding 100 years of a recent good year’s harvest to the bay. By 2025 … in 7 years. Yikes! I certainly wish this group and their goal God’s speed but that is a whole lot of oysters.

  6. If you believe “The Daily Press”, the 2015-2016 harvest was approximately 631,000 bushels, down from a previous year number of 650,000.

    1958-1959 had a 60 year high harvest of “more than 4 million.” 1995-1996 “dropped to an alarming 17,691.”

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/science/dp-nws-oyster-harvest-dip-20161223-story.html

    • I knew 2015 – 2016 (which I call the 2016 season) was down from 2014 – 2015 (which I call 2015). I didn’t know it was that much down. However, that makes the 100 billion goal even more amazing.

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