ANNAPOLIS, MD– Governor Larry Hogan has issued a proclamation making August 5-8, “Maryland Oyster Weekend.” This celebration will coincide with National Oyster Day on August 5. In celebration of this food holiday, Maryland’s Best Seafood—a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture—has partnered with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) to promote restaurants that participate in their Shell Recycling Alliance, which reclaims oyster shells and uses them to rebuild oyster habitat in the Chesapeake Bay.
“After a difficult year in 2020, Maryland Oyster Weekend is a great opportunity to support the hardworking folks who continue to provide fresh, tasty Maryland oysters to restaurants throughout our area and beyond,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “ORP has been a valuable partner in our work to promote Maryland oystermen and aquaculturists, and their efforts to restore oyster habitats in the Bay is a win-win for the environment, the seafood, and restaurant industries, and consumers who love local oysters.”
In addition to being delicious, oysters are a critical keystone species to the Bay’s long-term recovery because they filter excess nutrients and serve as a habitat for a multitude of marine life. Over the past 25 years, ORP has planted approximately 9 billion oysters on 2,500 underwater acres throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
During Maryland Oyster Weekend, participating restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., will offer a variety of oyster specials throughout the weekend, from free oysters to contest giveaways. Please visit the ORP website for a list of participating restaurants.