BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Millions of babies were delivered Tuesday in the middle of the Tred Avon River in Talbot County.

It’s the start of oyster planting around the Chesapeake Bay with thousands of bushels of recycled shell going into the water, each shell carrying multiple baby oysters called spat.

“Yesterday, we planted 16.8 million spat on shell. So I’m guessing today’s load of spat on shell will be a similar number,” Emily French with the Oyster Recovery Partnership.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership, along with federal and state help, is doing what nature would do if there was a self-sustaining oyster population in the Bay.

That was lost to decades of disease and over-harvesting in the past. Selecting five rivers to start new populations is an effort to kickstart nature.

“That’s what this really is,” says Dave Blazer with the Department of Natural Resources. “It’s to try to get those restoration tributaries and sanctuaries moving, so the oyster population can rebound.”

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