ST. MICHAELS — The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum now has its own living oyster bed, thanks to a generous donation from a local oyster farm dedicated to building a sustainable oyster population in the Miles River.
Mudgies Oyster Farm donated the oysters and labor to CBMM to help build a foundation for a living bed at CBMM’s Waterman’s Wharf. On July 20, Greg Kemp Jr., third generation waterman; Billy Adams, multi-generation waterman and board member of Talbot Seafood Heritage Association; and Stuart Dawson, farm manager of Mudgies Oyster Farm LLC, laid green shell foundations in the waters off Waterman’s Wharf. Tred Avon Treats supplied shells, TSHA supplied the labor, while Mudgies supplied the oyster seed and spat on shell.
“We enjoyed seeing this project get started, and look forward to the living bed growing oysters to help the Bay as well as educate the public,” Dawson said.
Waterman’s Wharf is a re-created crabber’s shanty where CBMM guests can try their hand at many of the seafood harvesting activities of a Chesapeake Bay waterman. Outside the shanty are Chesapeake Bay workboats — the Hooper Island draketail Martha, the Pot Pie Jackson skiff, the 1912 tugboat Delaware, and Volunteer, a replica Smith Island crab scraper.
“CBMM is excited to be collaborating with local organizations to educate our guests with living exhibitions,” CBMM Director of Education and Associate Curator Kate Livie said.. “Oysters are a large part of the Bay’s history, as well as the history of CBMM, and creating this living oyster bed adds authenticity to a fun and educational experience.”
The living oyster bed is completed just in time for the 8th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day, which takes place on Aug. 13, and features a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs, live music and more.