News Release, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission
New Oyster Guide Expands Support for Region’s Oyster Industry
The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC) recently adopted the management of the ‘Southern Maryland Oyster Trail’ website, at the invitation of the project originators Morgan State University, Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL) and partners St. Mary’s and Calvert County Economic Development and Tourism Departments.
The Southern Maryland Oyster Trail was first conceived by environmental non-profit True Oyster Restoration Initiative, Inc., as a tourism marketing catalyst to increase public appreciation for oyster farming; where and how oysters are grown and harvested as well as the economic, cultural, gastronomic and ecological assets the oyster industry contributes to the region.
The Oyster Trail website marylandoystertrail.com, currently hosts a self-guided destination tour of oyster farms and other oyster-related sites and attractions primarily located in Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. “SMADC was awarded a Rural Maryland Council (RMC) grant to build on the good work already started by PEARL and to expand the website content to include oyster producers region-wide,” explained SMADC’s Director, Shelby Watson-Hampton. “We are excited to take on this important marketing project to support and promote Southern Maryland’s oyster industry.”
SMADC plans to update the existing website and re-format the content in line with its other successfully established consumer guides and marketing programs. The web-hosted Southern Maryland ‘Oyster Guide’ will showcase producer profiles (hatcheries, aquaculture farms and wild harvest), as well as provide information on where to buy Southern Maryland raised and harvested oysters. Also featured will be regional restaurants and stores that offer local oysters, experiential tours, museums and other sites where the general public can explore and learn about the oyster’s unique cultural and maritime heritage.
“In the upcoming weeks, we will be reaching out to Southern Maryland’s oyster producers to update the website listings,” commented Susan McQuilkin, SMADC Marketing Specialist, “We’d also like to hear from Southern Maryland oyster-related sites, events, festivals, support organizations and associations to enhance the guide resources and visitor experience.”
Interested producers and venues are encouraged to submit the online Southern Maryland Oyster Guide application form. There is no charge to be listed. For more information and to access the guide application form visit ‘News and Announcements’ at SMADC.com. To request a printed application contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 274-1922, Ex. 1.
VIEW THE OYSTER GUIDE APPLICATION HERE