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 Trailwas first conceived by environmental non-profit TrueOyster Restoration Initiative, Inc., as a tourism marketing catalystto 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 websitemarylandoystertrail.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. Theweb-hosted Southern Maryland ‘Oyster Guide’ will showcase producer profiles (hatcheries, aquaculture farms and wild harvest), as well as provide information onwhere 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 contactinfo@smadc.comor call (301) 274-1922, Ex. 1.

VIEW THE OYSTER GUIDE APPLICATIONHERE

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...