EASTERN SHORE, Va. (WAVY) — The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is looking for people this summer to help raise yearly oysters along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Those interested would first attend one of the 10 workshops held in various coastal Virginia locations. The workshops teach new gardeners how to maintain their garden and provide the needed growing supplies, along with baby oysters.

The process requires a cage be suspended from a dock or a marina for the oysters to grow, but living on the water is not a requirement to be a volunteer. The CBF can help gardeners find a public location.

During the year, oysters filter the water and provide a habitat for aquatic life. Once the year is up, gardeners will drop off their oysters, where they will be placed in a Virginia sanctuary reef. Gardeners can pick up new baby oysters and start the process over again if they’d like.

“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.

CBF will hold seminars the following dates and locations: 

  • 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

Participants also help keep their own local waters clean through this process, according to Shannon.

Volunteer opportunities like this one help uplift the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance goal of adding 10 billion new oysters to the bay by 2025.

A $25 fee is required to offset program costs.

Participants can find more info and register online here or call (757) 644-4125. Registration can also be reached at oystergardener@cbf.org