This page provides information and links for oyster reefs in Maryland, Virginia, and other Mid Atlantic states. Throughout much of the Mid Atlantic, oyster reefs provide important habitat.
Oyster reefs are located in Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, North Carolina Sounds and other coastal areas of several states.
Anglers benefit by oyster reef restoration in many ways. First and foremost is the vital role in bay water quality that stands to be attained by oyster restoration. Secondly is the drastic improvement in habitat that oyster reefs provide.
Oyster reefs typically sustain abundant populations of baitfish, shrimp, crabs, shellfish, and other organisms which in turn attract larger fish.
A common form of oyster reef is constructed by adding shells to old shellfish beds. Other designs include the addition of rubble, concrete igloos, or other substrate that provide vertical surfaces for oysters.
In addition to large reefs, oyster gardening is common in many areas. This miniature form of oyster reef usually consists of one or more containers that hold spat or small oysters.
In many areas, organizations and individual property owners create networks of oyster gardens along waterways to improve water quality and support marine life.