Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Announces Operation Build-a-Reef: Eastern Bay

ShoreRivers, Oyster Recovery Partnership, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have set an ambitious goal to plant 100 million juvenile oysters in Eastern Bay by the end of 2023. DNR has committed to fund the initial planting of 70 million oysters and ShoreRivers has raised the stakes—and the impact—by committing to plant an additional 30 million oysters. To learn more about Operation Build-a-Reef: Eastern Bay and donate to the effort, please visit
The waterways of Eastern Bay, including the Miles and Wye Rivers, suffer from excess nitrogen and sediment pollution. Increasing oyster populations will not only result in cleaner water, it will also increase crucial habitat. “There used to be enough oysters in the Chesapeake Bay to filter the entire volume of water in just one week. We are grateful for partners like ShoreRivers because together we can work hard to restore oysters and their critical ecosystem functions so that the Bay may again thrive,” explains Ward Slacum, Executive Director of Oyster Recovery Partnership. By providing hiding places for small fish and juvenile blue crabs, as well as a stable foundation to help protect shorelines, planting 100 million new oysters will have a major impact on the health of Eastern Bay.
Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) is the nonprofit expert in Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration, planting more than 9 billion oysters on 3,000 acres of reef since their founding in 1994. ORP will be providing the oyster spat and conducting all plantings in Eastern Bay for Operation Build-a-Reef. The first reef chosen for restoration is located off Tilghman Point, Claiborne, and the first planting was scheduled for Tuesday, July 12. A subsequent planting was held the week of July 25 and more plantings will be held throughout the summer. Community members are invited to watch the plantings by boat.
Operation Build-a-Reef: Eastern Bay is a community stewardship restoration project, where donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations support direct oyster restoration work. Learn more about your Miles-Wye Riverkeeper and ShoreRivers’ comprehensive environmental restoration efforts at ORP leads the conservation of the native oyster in the Chesapeake Bay and beyond through oyster restoration, shell recycling, and sustainable fishery practices. Find out how at DNR leads Maryland in securing a sustainable future for our environment, society, and economy by preserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing the state’s natural resources.