Spat Cages & Reef Building New Environmental Project—OYSTERS!


Staff member
In November, the Historic Sotterley Oyster Project began when students from both the Lexington Park Elementary 5th grade STEM class and the Forrest Career and Technology Center’s Natural Resources Management Program participated in the first phase of a project to re-introduce oysters into our part of Sotterley Creek.

Knowledgeable volunteers from the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland, the Friends of St. Clements Bay, and the St. Mary’s River Watershed Project instructed students in the strategic placement of six cages of oyster spat at various water depths: 2ft, 4ft, 6ft, 8ft, 10ft, and 12ft.

Twice a year, the students will return to Sotterley Creek to take water samples and complete testing to check the levels of salinity, pH, and temperature. In the spring, an Eagle Scout will also work with us to establish an oyster reef under the dock, which will hopefully become home to a thriving community of oysters.

“What began as a casual conversation about the health of our local waterways with colleagues, has blossomed into a strong collaboration,” stated Katherine Humphries, Education Coordinator of Historic Sotterley. “This the beginning of a larger vision and expansion of Sotterley’s environmental programming and we are thrilled to be part of teaching younger generations about the importance of improving the quality of environment—here in the Chesapeake Bay region and beyond.”

This a natural progression in Historic Sotterley’s on-going Environmental Stewardship mission-driven initiatives.