Project aims to add 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025

Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 16:52:14-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Billions more oysters will be planted in the Chesapeake Bay, and a partnership aims for the project to be complete by 2025.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Elizabeth River project, Lynnhaven River Now, local oyster farmers and restoration projects are all on board to get 10 billion more oysters into the water.

Jackie Shannon, VA Oyster Restoration Manager, said oysters are not just a tasty treat. An adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day. They clean our water, provide habitats to other fish and stabilize the area from erosion.

The project is starting up in Maryland and stretches 200 miles down the coastline, affecting our waterways in Virginia Beach.

Chris Ludford, owner of Pleasure House Oysters, showed us his oyster farming operation.

“If you’re eating an oyster from the water, it says a lot about how clean the water is, the oyster is the canary in the coal mine.” Ludford said.

Researchers and scientists agree the partnership and open line of communication related to the oyster growth will only help everyone from people growing oysters, to commercial fishermen  to people ordering oysters for dinner.

“Oysters mean even cleaner water the bay is vulnerable to pollution but oysters are the biggest pieces to the puzzle for getting clean water,” said Shannon.

The initiative to get 10 billion oysters into the water starts now. For more info, head to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's website.