A final load of juvenile oysters was cast into the 350-acre Harris Creek oyster reef in September 2015, marking over two billion oysters planted in the sanctuary. One of the largest oyster restoration projects in the world, Harris Creek, a tributary of Maryland’s Choptank River, is the first of ten Chesapeake Bay tributaries to complete oyster reef construction to fulfill the oyster restoration goals of the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement.
The juvenile oysters, known as spat, all came from the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Hatchery. Oyster restoration in Harris Creek has been a collaboration including NOAA, the Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the Nature Conservancy, and other groups, such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Scientists will monitor the health of the Harris Creek oysters, and look toward restoring more tributaries of the Chesapeake.
Produced by Will Parson
Additional footage by Steve Droter
Music/Audio: Satellite Ensemble