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Logistics company to help restore 5.5 million oysters to the Chesapeake Bay

Staff members built around 75 cages designed as a future sanctuary for nearly 100,000 juvenile oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from May 2021.

A logistics and shipping company is teaming up with the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance to help restore 5.5 million oysters to the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to preserve its ecosystem.

CMA CGM announced Friday that staff members built around 75 cages designed as a future sanctuary for nearly 100,000 juvenile oysters. The company said each cage can hold up to 125 oyster shells, with each shell housing up to 10 baby oysters each.

The cages will be hung from docks while volunteer gardeners raise the oysters for a year. After that, the oysters will be placed on a restored reef protected from harvesting.

The project is part of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance's efforts to add 10 billion new oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025. It's supported by a coalition of 75 partner organizations in Virginia and Maryland.

Credit: Chesapeake Bay Foundation

According to the company, oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have declined to a tiny fraction of their historic levels because of pollution, overharvesting and disease. These oysters are needed to purify the water, and their reefs provide habitat to over 300 species and help stabilize shorelines.

“We’re thrilled to have CMA CGM join the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance’s diverse coalition of conservation organizations, oyster growers, research institutions, and other groups working to add 10 billion new oysters to the Bay by 2025," said Tanner Council, CBF Chesapeake Oyster Alliance Manager.

For more information about the alliance, you can visit its website.