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CROWDRISE : Jul 17, 2013
Tax ID: 52-1973908
BASED: Leonardtown, MD, United States



Oyster Restoration

The Rotary Foundation of Leonardtown, Maryland, is helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay's decimated oyster population and its water quality by constructing a sustainable model for the restoration of its extinct historic three dimensional oyster reefs.

Prior to 1865 over 70,000 acres of three dimensional oyster reefs existed throughout the Chesapeake Bay.   Unfortunately, the reefs were mined into extinction by the early 1900's. The now extinct three dimensional habitat enabled oysters to grow from above the Bay's surface down to its bottom, as compared to the bottom bars upon which the Bay oysters now grow.  The ideal 3D habitat supported so many oysters they were able to filter the entire volume of the Bay of algae and sediments every three days.  Now, with less than 1% of its historic oyster population remaining, the Bay's natural algae filtration system is disfunctional and algae growth is out of control causing severe dissolved oxygen depletion and the suffocation of marine life. 

Our initial goal is to fund completion of construction of a new 2.8 acre three dimensional oyster reef in the St. Mary's River by the St. Mary's River Watershed Association, that will serve as a model for restoring at least 35,000 acres of three dimensional reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay.  The first 0.5 acres has been completed and $100,000 in donations are needed to complete the remaining 2.3 acres and provide three years of underwater sampling and monitoring by students and faculty of St. Mary's College of Maryland.   

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Tax ID: 52-1973908 •


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