WASHINGTON — Diners looking to celebrate National Oyster Day on Sunday can chow down on oysters at a participating D.C.-area restaurant where 10 cents per mollusk will be donated to help grow more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
“That will directly support the planting of oysters, water-filtering oysters on protected sanctuaries where they will grow to flourish and thrive, filter water, and serve as really important underwater habitat for underwater life,” said Karis King of the Oyster Recovery Partnership.
Eighty-eight restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are participating in the recovery effort; see a full list of participating restaurants on the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s website.
Participating restaurants also contribute year-round to the group’s shell recycling program that helps keep used shells out of landfills, and instead allows them to be reused as host shells for planting more oysters into the bay.
“The oyster larvae are attracted naturally to the shell, so they will seek that out and it’s the best substrate for them to grow from, for them to thrive,” King said.
And, one oyster can filter as many as 50 gallons of water a day, King added.
As the new oysters grow, they create a sanctuary for sea anemones, crabs, worms and fish. And that, in turn, also helps people whose livelihoods depend on the health of the bay.
“All the hardworking men and women who work day in and day out to put the seafood on the table,” King said.
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