DNR, ORP And Midatlantic Restaurants Partner To Help Rebuild Oyster Population
1/23/2012 | Posted by jdavidsburgTags: Oysters, Shellfish, Commercial, Recreational
"From the Bay, For the Bay" Dine-Out raises more than $20,000
Annapolis, Md. (January 23, 2012)Governor Martin O'Malley today announced the results of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2011 From the Bay, For the Bay Dine Out. Through a collaborative partnership among regional restaurants, DNR and the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), the week-long celebration raised $20,240 to support Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration.
"The first annual From the Bay, For the Bay dine-out proved to be a huge success for everyone involved," said Governor O'Malley. "Not only did the event raise funds to help us rebuild our native oyster population, it showcased our terrific Maryland seafood and our ongoing efforts to restore the Bay."
More than 170 restaurants in Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia participated in the promotion, which took place October 2-9, 2011. The restaurants donated $1 from every Maryland seafood dinner sold during the week; the money is being donated to ORP to support oyster restoration efforts.
Top participating restaurants included the Boatyard Bar & Grill in Annapolis, Woodberry Kitchen and Ryleigh's Oyster Bar in Baltimore, and Matchbox Restaurants in Washington, DC. Together they donated $5,626.
"We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from our From the Bay, For the Bay partners," said Stephan Abel, Executive Director of ORP. "The funds that were received will enable us to recycle over 300 bushels of oyster shells and then plant 1.5 million baby oysters back into the Bay."
ORP's oyster restoration activities include collecting, aging, cleaning oyster shells and planting spat (baby oysters), on the oyster shells. The spat is produced by the University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Hatchery.
Over the past decade, the Oyster Recovery Partnership has replanted hundreds of millions of oysters in the Bay. Oysters are a critical species to the Bay's long term recovery. A healthy oyster reef not only filters the Bay's waters, but also provides habitat for other marine life such as blue crabs and striped bass. Restoration efforts for the 2012 season will begin in February.
The Oyster Recovery Partnership's most publically-recognized program - the region's oyster Shell Recycling Alliance - is made up of nearly 100 restaurants, caterers and seafood distributors from the mid-Atlantic region, as well as citizen volunteers who collect donated used oyster shells from these businesses to aid in restoring the Chesapeake Bay. The Shell Recycling Alliance has quickly grown to provide 15 percent of Maryland's shell needs at current oyster production levels, prolonging the State's limited shell reserves. For more information on the Oyster Recovery Partnership, visit oysterrecovery.org.