What are spat? Spat is a life stage of the oyster during which they transition from mobile larva to “fixed” organisms attached to hard surfaces where they continue to grow into mature oysters.
Where are the spat grown? The spat are grown in cages for 9-10 months from your pier, or below the Railroad Trail boardwalk in Fishing Creek if you do not have a pier.
Where are yearling oysters released? The yearling oysters will be released in designated oyster sanctuaries under the guidance of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A suitable planting site has already been identified in the Bay just offshore from Chesapeake Beach; the location is known as Old Rock. CBOCS is also exploring Fishing Creek planting options. However, oysters must be planted on a hard substrate or their likelihood of survival is very small. So given Fishing Creek’s muddy bottom, it is unclear at this time if a suitable solution will be found to allow oysters to be planted there.
Do I need to purchase a BOCS, or have a pier to participate? No. There are a variety of ways to participate in CBOCS without purchasing a BOCS or having a pier. Primarily we need people willing to donate their time and energy to help maintain the program. For example, we need your help receiving and deploying spat in the fall, planting yearling oysters in the spring, weatherizing BOCSes annually, or there are a variety of committees to help out with as well.
Are there any schools involved in CBOCS? Yes. Beach Elementary School is an active partner in CBOCS and is currently incorporating aspects of oyster restoration into their environmental curriculum for fifth graders.