Oyster Research Summary

Published: November 17, 2022

Bright Future Ahead For Oyster Restoration 

Annapolis, MD — There is certainly a bright future for oyster restoration in the Severn River where eventually, we’ll have 1.3 billion mature oysters cleaning and filtering the river. With the help of key partners, funders, and donor support, the Severn River Association is pushing ahead to make the 1.3 billion oyster goal a reality and is systematically laying the groundwork to expand restoration efforts by opening oyster reefs. 

SRA’s Program Officer, Tom Guay, presented a roadmap of how SRA intends to expand oyster restoration in the Severn during the group’s John Wright Speaker Series at Forward Brewing on Nov. 15. 

Thanks to funding support from the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Oyster Alliance, Tom led an oyster reef research project this summer to build the case to expand restoration in the Severn. 

The project identified 10 areas to create new oyster reefs; conducted side-scan sonar surveys of these areas; worked with Black Girls Dive Foundation to ground truth the sonar work; tracked water quality at the proposed reefs, and then conducted scuba diving operation to assess survivability of 32 million oysters planted in 2021 as part of Operation Build-A-Reef.  

Results: Success all around! The selected sites have hard bottoms needed to support oysters, there are good levels of oxygen and salinity, and the 2021 oysters are thriving and exceeding threshold restoration levels after their first year in the river. 

Tom’s oyster research presentation was broadcast via Facebook Live, which can be viewed at any time HERE 

Contact Tom at taguay@severnriver.org