Rock Hall Marine Restoration & Heritage Center is participating in the Maryland Grow Oysters (MGO) program in collaboration with the Chester River Association, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Lab, the Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Washington College.
MGO Volunteers have helped plant more than 200,000 oysters with each Oyster filtering up to 50 gallons of water a day.
We have cages suspended from our dock on Rock Hall Harbor at Historic Rock Hall Clam House. If you would like to help us maintain the cages and oysters, please send us an email.
Young oysters, called spat, are small, vulnerable and subject to numerous stresses in open waters. In your cages however, they can grow protected from smothering silt and from predation by blue crabs. By making your pier a temporary home and providing protection and care for the young oysters, you will give them an optimal start in life.
Through your participation, you will also create new life for the river. Thousands of organisms will inhabit your cages, which will become miniature living oyster reefs suspended from your pier. Each time you pull a cage onto your pier you'll view an abundance of aquatic life such as mud crabs, grass shrimp, worms, and numerous fish such as blennies, gobys, baby eels and minnows – an educational and inspiring experience for you and your family.
Additionally, each cage with spat at about one inch in size will filter up to 50 gallons per day per cage. Oysters and other creatures in the cage eat and remove algae, which is far too abundant in the Bay.
Given the oyster's function as an important Bay species, Maryland and its partners have implemented a large scale native oyster restoration program; the oysters that you grow will support these efforts.