Earth Week and Oysters .
Baltimore, MD - April 18th-22nd is Earth Week, a time devoted to raising awareness of environmental issues, encouraging respect for our planet, and sharing ways to be eco-friendly. One of the ways that WRA employees are working to protect the environment is through their involvement in The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore’s oyster program, The Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership.
WRA volunteers, along with employees from other local businesses, have been giving their time to help clean up Baltimore’s Inner Harbor by planting and caring for oyster gardens. The oysters filter the water to feed, thus removing harmful pollution. An important part of the harbor’s ecosystem in the past, the Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population has declined greatly in number, due to pollution and over harvesting. Oyster program volunteers are trained to speak to others about the water pollution challenges facing Baltimore’s Harbor and the role that oysters play in improving water health.
This year, The Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation had baby oysters planted at eight oyster gardens in the Harbor (3 more locations than last year). Since October 2015, the volunteers have been caring for the baby oysters, or spat, at monthly cage maintenance events. In June, the mature oysters will be taken by boat to the Fort Carroll Oyster Sanctuary, where they will live out the rest of their lives. This is the second year that WRA has been involved in the program, and we are excited to see the results of this year’s oyster gardens!