CHESAPEAKE BAY, Md. (WJZ) — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation surpassed their goal of planting five million oysters in the Patapsco River by 2020, which is good news for the surrounding waterways.
They planted 3.4 million spat, or baby oysters, were planted on Wednesday alone- they originally had planned to seed around one million at the Campbell Reef.
Baby oysters, or spats
They had already planted three million in 2017.
These oysters aren’t for eating, however.
“Due to the water quality in the Patapsco, you wouldn’t want to eat these oysters anyway,” said Carmera Thomas, Baltimore program manager for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
If the oysters do their job, that water quality could change.
“One adult oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day,” Thomas said.
They’ll also help provide habitat and food for other wildlife.
“A 3D structure of an oyster reef is really great for habitat and that’s a number one component for oysters in the Chesapeake Bay,” Thomas said.
These oysters join the nearly three million that were planted by Chesapeake Bay Foundation in 2017 on a man-made reef next to Fort Carroll.
“It’s in a great place in the river, salinity is high enough, it’s great conditions for these oysters to grow,” Thomas said.
Thomas said it could also help restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay.
“What we’re doing here on land and in the water is helping restore that habitat but improve water quality for years to come,” Thomas said.
It will take about three years until the oysters are fully grown but they will start cleaning right away.