Is caring for oyster gardens difficult?

Not at all. Gardeners are only responsible for shaking their gardens and removing large predators if present. It takes only 10-20 minutes once a week. Some Gardeners opt to hose or lightly pressure wash their oysters as they become larger, but it’s not necessary.

Do I have to buy any special equipment?

Participation in the Oyster Gardening Program is completely free. All equipment and oysters are provided for you.

Do I need to be there during when my oysters are distributed or picked-up?

No, unless your pier is locked and only you are able to access it. We will let you know ahead of time when staff is coming around to your site.

Can I open up the gardens and to look at the oysters and other animals?

Absolutely! We encourage Gardeners to look at their oyster gardens and see what kinds of organisms they have attracted. Think of an oyster garden like a miniature oyster reef: an ecosystem comprised of several species interacting together. Gardeners commonly find fish, sea squirts, crabs, and even little sea anemones in their oyster gardens. Remember to properly close your gardens and place them back in the water when you are done.

How will the oyster gardens affect the area around my pier/landing?

Oyster gardens create better fishing off your pier/landing by attracting small bait fish and other animals to the area. They also filter and improve water quality.

A sheepshead found in an Oyster Garden