- 50 acres of oyster reef
- 50 million oysters
- 2.5 trillion gallons of water, filtered daily
- Millions of fish and wildlife supported
At the end of December 2016, the North Carolina Coastal Federation announced its 50 Million Oyster Initiative, a three-year campaign to restore 50 million oysters in North Carolina waters.
By 2020, the federation and its partners plan to create 50 new acres of oyster sanctuary throughout North Carolina, starting with 15 acres of oyster sanctuary in Pamlico Sound. With each acre supporting approximately one million oysters, there will be 50 million oysters supporting many different species of fish and wildlife. And with each oyster capable of filtering 50 gallons of water per day, those 50 million oysters will filter 2.5 trillion gallons of water — every single day.
The 50 Million Oyster Initiative puts all of oysters’ many benefits to work, short-term and long-term. It provides jobs for contractors, fishermen, construction workers, truck drivers and many others during the construction of the reefs. After the reefs are completed, the initiative will improve fish habitat and water quality, which benefits both commercial and recreational fishermen, the tourism industry and the coastal environment as a whole for years to come.
This initiative is currently funded through a $1.275 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, appropriations from the North Carolina General Assembly, Grady-White Boats and support from members like you.
North Carolina’s native oyster, Crassostrea virginica, needs your help! For the cost of a few bottles of cocktail sauce, you can adopt a single oyster, a dozen or even a bushel.