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Pecometh Grows Oyster Babies

Jun 04, 2014 02:53PM ● By Jake Russell
Pecometh Camp and Retreat Ministries, located in Centreville, Maryland, recently made an impact on the nearby environment, both with the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay and on the local oyster population.

Last summer, an associate from the Chester River Association suggested that the camp might want to be involved with the Marylanders Grow Oysters program. Why oysters? They play a vital role in helping to strengthen the life of the Bay by feeding on plankton and filtering it out of the water. It’s just like a filtration system for the water that comes from your tap at home.

The Pecometh team jumped at the chance, and knew it could definitely be an opportunity they could share with guests, school groups and also the day campers that attend their “Schools Out, We’re In” program during the school year. Soon after, four cages of “spat on shell” (baby/larval oysters attached to recycled oyster shells) were “adopted”. In October 2013, campers did experiments in which they observed turbidity (how cloudy the water was due to particles of dirt and other matter in the water).

Megan Shitama, Retreat Programs Coordinator, with Pecometh commented that it was a great “hands-on thing to do with the kids.” After nine long months, in May of this year, the spat, now growing oysters, were placed in a new home in Lankford Bay, at the southern end of the Chester River. It will take about three years for them to grow to “market” size.

This recent effort shows us that we can all take time to improve the quality of our rivers and streams, and ultimately, the life of the Chesapeake Bay. The Pecometh team will also keep the public updated on the progress of the oysters as they continue to thrive in their new habitat. For more on what’s happening at Pecometh Camp and Retreat Ministries, call 410-556-6900 or visit them online at pecometh.org.

Contributed by Camp Pecometh.