Bayside in Fenwick Island, Delaware is a one-of-a-kind community that strives to bring exclusive opportunities and amenities to its residents. Through Bayside Institute, we are able to do just that! Bayside Institute offers awesome learning experiences which foster community and enrich our members lives. Our passionate coordinator works year-round to help members learn new skills, explore fascinating subjects, and ignite undiscovered passions. Unique to the community, and to the typical programming, Bayside Institute is partnering with the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays to launch Oyster Gardening at Bayside!
What is oyster gardening?
Oyster Gardening is a volunteer-based initiative led by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays. The DCIB provides juvenile oysters and the sanctuaries to raise them to Delaware residents with waterfront property… and now, Bayside! The hope for the initiative is to restore a healthy level of oysters to the Inland Bays through the protected cultivation of oysters. It is important to note, these oysters are not for human consumption, but strictly for improving the quality of water in the inland bays.
How does it work?
In partnering with the DCIB, Bayside will receive approximately one bushel of “spat” and one bushel of one-year-old oysters in a Taylor Float. A Taylor Float is a 2 ft. by 3 ft. crate-like apparatus that remains afloat by the PVC pipe rim. The bushels of oysters will be contained in plastic mesh bags placed inside the Taylor Float. After one year, the more mature, two-year-old oysters will be removed for deposit on Rip Rap throughout the inland bays and new “spat” will be placed in the float.
Why is it important?
Oysters are nature’s way of cleaning the water! On average, a single mature oyster will filter about 50 gallons of water a day! These oysters are vital in reversing water pollution and improving water quality throughout our bays. Aside from naturally filtering our bay water, oyster gardening provides ecological research, a safe environment for oysters to grow and thrive, and supports the development of healthy reef habitats for other species.
Unfortunately in the past 30 years, Delaware’s inland bays, which include the Rehoboth Bay, the Indian River Bay, and Little Assawoman Bay, have been virtually absent of any oysters. The Delaware CIB hopes that their Shellfish Gardening Program, which began in 2003, will continue to grow and eventually establish a healthy and sustainable oyster population in the inland bays — a goal that we are proud to contribute to!
What can you do?
You can attend the free Bayside Institute class, Oyster Gardening, at The Point on November 21st! The more we seek education for ourselves on environmental causes and the positive difference we can contribute – large or small – the more awareness we can create in our communities leading to greater success for initiatives like this, and ultimately healthier inland bays! Again, these oysters are not for human consumption, but strictly for restorative efforts of oyster population in the inland bays.
For more information on the Oyster Gardening initiative please visit: http://www.inlandbays.org/projects-issues/oyster-gardening/
For more information on the current Bayside Institute schedule, please visit the online calendar.