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Volunteers needed to raise oysters on Eastern Shore of Virginia

This is a part of the foundation's goal of adding 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is about the longest-serving volunteer with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. It aired in December 2021.

If you're someone who lives on Virginia's Eastern Shore and wants to help the Chesapeake Bay, you're in luck. 

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is looking for volunteers to help them raise oysters with the hope of replenishing the population in Virginia's waterways. 

“There’s nothing more fun and rewarding than raising your own baby oysters to help restore the Bay’s oyster population,” said CBF Virginia Oyster Restoration Manager Jackie Shannon.

“Being an oyster gardener leads to cleaner water and more underwater life both in your local waters and the sanctuary reefs where the oysters are eventually planted.”

Over the next year, you'll raise them in cages that are suspended from docks at your home or a marina. If you don't have direct access to the water, the foundation can help you find a public place. 

When they mature, they're placed on sanctuary reefs in Virginia. This is a part of the foundation's goal of adding 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay by 2025.

If you're interested, seminars and workshops will be held to help you learn how you can participate on the following dates and at the following places:

  • June 18 at 9 a.m. on Virginia’s Eastern Shore;
  • June 23 at 6 p.m. in Hampton
  • June 25 at 9 a.m. in Irvington
  • July 19 at 6 p.m. at Gloucester Point
  • July 21 at 6 p.m. in Tappahannock
  • July 26 at 6 p.m. in Portsmouth
  • July 28 at 6 p.m. in Newport News.

Registration is required, and there is a $25 fee. Click here to sign up or call 757-644-4125. You can also email OysterGardener@cbf.org.

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