New Oyster Gardeners

Illustration of oyster cages hanging from a dockOysters are the Chesapeake Bay's best natural filters. They also provide essential habitat for fish and other Bay creatures. Unfortunately, though, today's oyster population is estimated at only a few percent of its original level. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Oyster Gardening Program gives people the opportunity to help bring back this vital species by growing oysters alongside their docks. Once grown, the adult oysters are returned to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for planting on sanctuary (non-harvest) reefs.

New oyster gardeners are required to attend an Oyster Gardening Workshop before beginning their first year of gardening. Before registering, please read the workshop information below and check our Oyster Gardening Frequently Asked Questions.

Workshop Information: Each workshop participant will build a set of four oyster cages from wire mesh, which will hang from their dock. The workshop will help new gardeners learn how to maintain their oyster garden throughout the coming year. Participants also receive several thousand native baby oysters to begin the program. There is a first-time workshop fee of $75. 

Please check back in August for our 2012 workshop schedule.

If you have additional questions, please email

New Oyster Gardener Workshop Schedule

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