Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) gardening program for restoration in Delaware’s Inland Bays, USA

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Aquaculture International

Publication Date


Date Added



Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica is a keystone species in many estuarine bays. They clean the water by filtering out suspended particulates from the water column, while their reefs serve as valuable habitat for many ecologically and economically important macrofaunal species. However, with the ever-increasing development along our coastlines, the oyster population throughout the Mid-Atlantic region has plummeted as a result of overharvesting, extreme eutrophication, and disease. In response to this detrimental decline, many conservation organizations in the area have developed community-involvement programs commonly referred to as ‘oyster gardening’ to help restore the oyster population, while instilling within the community a strong sense of stewardship for their bays. Although the oyster gardening program in Delaware is relatively new, its popularity has grown tremendously. It is the hope of many Delaware residents that the reintegration of oysters into the Inland Bays will help to return their bays to the state of health in which they once were. Despite the expansion, further development of designated reef area is necessary to ensure the successful proliferation of C. virginica in Delaware’s Inland Bays.






Environmental Sciences

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