By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The program that has put nearly six billion baby oysters in the Chesapeake Bay is always looking for creative ways to raise money.

Mike Schuh reports what they came up with honors Chesapeake heritage while creating a keepsake.

All the good shuckers know Dale German. Every day, his custom oyster knives are in use.

“It’s got to feel good. It’s got to feel right in your hand,” German said.

Feel good they must because he’s got a waiting list for them.

His current project starts with wood dear to those living in the Chesapeake  — the Pride of Baltimore II’s mighty keel was laid 28 years ago. It’s mahogany and bullet wood,  and some of it was saved.

The captain at the Oyster Recovery Partnership had it in a box.

The idea to make oyster knives came from coworker Kate Cweik.

“It’s beautiful, it’s meaningful. Just to see it all come together like this is really exciting,” Cweik said. “And they’re a lot cooler than I thought they initially would be!”

By Dale’s hand, 500 knives have been made.

Removable from its plaque, each is numbered, the blade spelling out the Pride II and the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

“So there’s number 500. And you hang them on the wall,” said German. There you go.”

“Some of this wood was used in the building of the keel, so it’s kind of like the heart of the ship,” said Cweik.

Schuh: “Someone had the foresight to save these pieces.”

German: Right, yeah. Well, these things are a piece of history.”

History’s not cheap. The knives were made to bring in money for the Pride and ORP.

At $199, about 150 have been sold. And as they say, when they are gone, they’re gone for good.

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