What's cool on a hot summer day? OYSTERS! We at Shored Up are SO proud of our oyster gardens! Our "crop" from last year produced 605 oysters! Pretty cool! What's even better is the fact that we weren't the only ones! We had the company of other volunteers (Shout out to Debbie Arenius and Carolyn Pretell) who also grew oysters for Chesapeake Bay Foundation during this inaugural year at the Downtown Hampton site. Our combined oyster count was 1,457 oysters! Given that each oyster has the potential to filter up to 50 gallons of water per day, that means the oysters grown at the Downtown Hampton Dock can filter up to 72,850 gallons of water PER DAY! After being tended to for a year, they were placed on The Hampton River-Elizabeth Lake Oyster Sanctuary Reef where they will continue to work hard cleaning the Hampton River and providing habitat for hundreds of species.
The future looks even brighter, too, as two other Hampton businesses, Sam Rust Seafood and Less Than will be joining us to help grow oysters!
Sam Rust Seafood, a local 4th generation seafood business, also helps oyster restoration by hosting a shell recycling bin at their Hampton facility. This bin is a crucial part of our oyster and Bay stewardship.
How awesome to have Less Than, a retail shop that offers earth-friendly products, join the oyster restoration effort! We look forward to getting together with their Downtown Hampton staff to do a little gardening together!
Warm and heartfelt thanks to all our local volunteers who grow oysters AND to Downtown Hampton Development Partnership (DHDP) who so generously hosts and supports our Downtown Hampton oyster gardening location!
Shored Up is a partner in the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance, a coalition with a mission to restore a healthy oyster population in order to have a healthy Bay! The goal is to put 10 billion oysters into the Bay by 2025, so every bit of help--and every oyster--counts!
In addition to growing oysters, we love showing our oysters to our tour groups and program participants. They never fail to amaze!
So, we'd say oysters are cool-- on any and every day-- as cool as clean water!