Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB)

Oyster Gardening Program


More Natural Recruitment Observed in Fenwick

At Chris and Ernie Kent's, 910 South Schultz Road

               Pics 142 (2)

Photos by Brian Reckenbeil


Recommended Oyster Gardening Publications with Basic How-to Information:
Virginia Institute of Marine Science   University of Maryland    Virginia Oyster Gardening Guide

Click here for an overview of the oyster gardening program and recent activities

* Background Info * Inland Bays Citizen's Monitoring Program * CIB Oyster Gardening Fact Sheet *

* Inland Bays Journal Article * Other East Coast Oyster Gardening Programs *


Delaware Oyster Gardening and Restoration - A Cooperative Effort (YSI Environmental Application Note)


You are invited to take a tour of the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Delaware.

Click here for more information

NOAA Hosts National Symposium on Shellfish and the Environment

To learn more about shellfish restoration, oysters and their habitat value and other ecological benefits, click here to visit our online reference library

The Oyster Gardening Program, initiated during the summer of 2003, is a cooperative effort among the CIB, Delaware Sea Grant Program, Delaware State University and citizen volunteers to produce juvenile oysters for stocking the demonstration oyster reef at the CIB's James Farm Ecological Preserve at Pasture Point on Indian River Bay and for newly initiated oyster restoration work in Little Assawoman Bay.

The oyster spat (on shell) used in the program have been deployed in Taylor Floats during the last five seasons (2003 - 2008) at various locations in all three of the Inland Bays. Average increases in oyster growth - ranging from 23 to 45 millimeters depending on location - have been good to excellent. Good oyster growth has been observed at all Inland Bay locations especially in the Oak Orchard area of Indian River Bay and the southern portion of Little Assawoman Bay.

Growth rates observed during the initial deployment of oysters in Little Assawoman Bay contradict anecdotal estimates that bay water quality conditions are generally unsuitable for bivalves. These results also demonstrate the high potential for oyster aquaculture in the bay using off-bottom gear and to take advantage of the relatively closed conditions of Little Assawoman for promoting natural recruitment by developing oyster spawning sanctuaries in the Bay. For additional information about the Inland Bays Oyster Gardening Program, please contact CIB oyster gardening coordinator  EJ Chalabala

Please direct all questions and comments about the Web site or to report broken links to: John W. Ewart Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory program

For additional information about the Center for the Inland Bays oyster gardening program, please contact

EJ Chalabala
Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
39375 Inlet Road
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Phone: (302) 226-8105
Fax: (302) 226-8109