Operation Build a Reef

GRASSROOTS OYSTER REEF BUILDING CAMPAIGNS 

Oysters play a critical role in improving the Chesapeake Bay’s health. To help their populations increase Bay-wide, in 2018 ORP developed a special program called Operation Build-a-Reef. Build-a-Reef empowers the public, through grassroots fundraising, to put oysters back into their local waterways (onto sanctuaries where they will filter water and create beneficial habitat for other species). A successful Build-a-Reef campaign relies on partnership with a local nonprofit conservation partner that understands the community’s wants and can inspire action. To date, ORP has worked with three different conservation groups to plant more than 86 million oysters in three different waterways!

2022 Build-a-Reef Campaigns

Learn about the Build-a-Reef campaigns taking place this summer – and consider making a donation to to create healthy oyster reefs in these locations. Funds contributed directly support the production, transport, and planting  of oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay!

Oysters and water run through the side of the Build a Reef planting vessel on Friday, August 20, 2021

Operation Build-a-Reef: Severn River

in partnership with the Severn River Association

Operation Build a Reef: Eastern Bay

in partnership with ShoreRivers

 

Oysters planted as part of Operation Build-a-Reef in 2020 - sampled from Wade || reef on May 15, 2021Build-a-Reef Impact

  • 2021: With partners from the Severn River Association, 24 million juvenile oysters planted on the Traces Hollow reef on the north side of the Route 50 bridge in Annapolis, MD. An additional 650,000 spat-on-shell were planted in Herring Bay thanks to local partners from the Advocates for Herring Bay.
  • 2020: In partnership with Severn River Association, 16.9 million spat-on-shell found their new homes on reefs near Weems Creek
  • 2018: 45.1 million juvenile oysters were planted on protected oyster sanctuaries between the Severn River and Naval Academy Bridges in Annapolis, MD.