ORP Receives $25,000 in Grants from Perdue Farms

Oyster Recovery Partnership Receives $25,000 in Grants from Perdue Farms to Raise Oysters, Recycle Shell

SALISBURY, MD, June 20, 2013 — The Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) today was awarded two grants totaling $25,000 by Perdue Farms through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the company’s charitable giving arm, to expand efforts to raise oysters for the Chesapeake Bay and recycle oyster shells.

The grants will allow ORP to expand its Shell Recycling Alliance and Marylanders Grow Oysters Program. The grants also strengthen a partnership between ORP and Perdue Farms, which has been a long-term supporter of Bay oyster restoration efforts. The grants were announced during a volunteer shell-bagging event at the Perdue Farms’ Corporate office in Salisbury.

“Perdue Farms is a great friend of oysters and the Chesapeake Bay,” said Stephan Abel, executive director of the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “They have been active with the Marylanders Grow Oysters Program since 2009 and have helped us expand the important community based program throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland. These grants mean more homeowners will be able to participate in raising oysters for the bay and more shells will be recycled to continue our restoration efforts. These grants will have a direct impact on the Bay oyster population and the entire Bay ecosystem.”;

A $15,000 grant for Marylanders Grow Oysters will allow ORP to expand the statewide program along the Eastern Shore, the Nanticoke River watershed and in Ocean City. This grant will be leveraged with State funding to allow ORP to deliver thousands of oyster cages filled with hatchery-produced oysters to communities throughout Maryland. Homeowners raise the oysters off their piers for about a year, until they are large enough for ORP to plant them on sanctuary oyster reefs.

A $10,000 Shell Recycling Alliance (SRA) grant will allow ORP to support and expand the shell recycling program in the Delmarva region. Since the SRA program began in 2009, the SRA has collected more than 1,200 tons of shell that will provide homes for 150 million young oysters. “This program has been successful in other regions in promoting recycling by businesses and the public. I am confident that this will help us grow in a region that is already a strong supporter of the bay,” Abel said.

Perdue Farms will also provide volunteer support to enhance the oyster population Bay-wide. On June 20, Perdue Farms’ associates and family members joined ORP staff to fill hundreds of bags with oyster shell bags for future oyster restoration projects. The bags are needed for oyster hatchery production and will help provide a home for approximately 1 million oysters. Young larvae will attach themselves to the clean oyster shells at the University of Maryland Horn Point Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge where they are produced.  These bags of “spat on shell” are used in the Marylanders Grow Oysters effort.

Since 2009, more than 200 Perdue volunteers have filled more than 3,800 shell bags.

“This marks our fifth year joining ORP in this community-based conversation initiative,” said Chad Clem, Perdue’s project coordinator for the volunteer effort. “It is gratifying to work on a project like this when I know that Perdue is so strongly committed to the environment and the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its watersheds.

“For years, the Oyster Recovery Partnership has led the way in efforts to protect and preserve the regional oyster population, and we are proud to continue our support through the funding provided by the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation,” said Steve Schwalb, vice president of environmental sustainability. “We’re proud to join ORP in protecting the Bay and restoring the oyster population.”

About ORP

The Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) is a non-profit that plans, promotes and implements science-based and sustainable shellfish restoration, aquaculture and wild fishery activities to protect our environment, support our economy and preserve our cultural heritage. To date, ORP has planted 4 billion oysters on 1,500 acres of oyster reefs and recycled 30,000 bushels of shell to provide homes for new oysters.

About Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms is the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness, and represents the Perdue family ownership.  Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, through expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the Perdue brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, to our third-generation of family leadership with chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained a family-owned, family-operated business dedicated to making Perdue the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.  To learn more about Perdue, visit www.perdue.com.

About the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation

The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, was established in 1957 by company founder Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue. As part of our belief in supporting the communities where and with whom we do business, the Foundation provides grants on behalf of Perdue Farms in communities where large numbers of our associates live and work.  At Perdue Farms, we believe in responsible food and agriculture.

For more information, contact Bill See, Perdue Media Relations, at 410-341-2412 or visit www.perdue.com®