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Annapolis area students take part in yearlong oyster program

Annapolis Maritime Museum Oyster ProgramBy Betsy Stein

The world is an oyster for more than 1,000 Annapolis area sixth graders. They are participating in a yearlong Oyster Environmental Literacy Program through the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

In the fall the students from Meade, Annapolis, Bates and Severn River middle schools helped seed and set 70 oyster cages along the finger piers at City Dock and in the spring they will “plant” their oysters in an oyster sanctuary in the Severn River. Over the course of the year, they will also examine human interaction with the environment, study oyster ecology and industry measuring and track oyster spat and water quality. They will learn about the effects urban development and storm water have on oysters and the Chesapeake Bay. Overall they will receive 20 hours of instruction in the program.

This is the first year for the Oyster Environmental Literacy Program which is a partnership between the museum, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, NOAA, Chesapeake Bay Savers and Maryland’s DNR.

“We are hoping that the students will become not only more proficient in the environmental literacy initiative but become more responsibly aware stewards of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Amanda Elliott, program coordinator for the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

Volunteers are needed for the program. Knowledge of oyster ecology is helpful but not required. For details contact Elliott at 410-295-0104 or aelliott@maritime.org.

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