Sea Grant knows oysters. and well, we really like them.

Oysters are found in coastal waters around the U.S. These tasty bivalves have been an important coastal food source for thousands of years. They also form reefs that serve as important habitat for other oysters and many other animals as well. Here at Sea Grant, we study oysters (a lot!), and we support hundreds of small businesses that grow, harvest, and serve oysters by providing training and technical assistance.

Eat an oyster, support a local business.

Above, roasted oysters are on the dinner table in North Carolina (Photo: Vanda Lewis). Left, an oyster farmer in Maine bags freshly harvested oysters (Photo: Christopher Katalinas).

Sea Grant's research and extension work is grounded in supporting sustainable U.S. fisheries and aquaculture. Our mission is to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.


Sea Grant operates several oyster research laboratories around the U.S., including the Louisiana Sea Grant Oyster Lab in Grand Isle, Louisiana. In addition to operating full labs, Sea Grant funds researchers to understand the effects of changing ocean chemistry on oysters, develop new methods of farming oysters, and improve larval survival among many other topics.

Above, Sea Grant served Alabama farm-raised oysters at the 2018 NOAA Fish Fry (Photo: Katherine O'Reilly). Left, a demonstration oyster farm in Maryland allows researchers and farmers alike to test new growing methods (Photo: Brooke Carney).


Sea Grant aquaculture extension specialists like Julie Davis with South Carolina Sea Grant and Dana Morse with Maine Sea Grant provide expert advice on oyster growing and harvesting techniques. Others like Rusty Grice with Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant focus on providing business advice. In Georgia, Sea Grant operates a hatchery to help launch a local industry. Sea Grant also hosts workshops, like the Halfshell Marketing workshop organized by Virginia Sea Grant and the Oyster Culture Gear and Suppliers workshop hosted by Florida Sea Grant.

Above, a cluster of oysters is held at the Goose Point Oyster Processing Facility in Washington. Left, Julie Davis prepares oyster spat to be bagged. (Photos: Christopher Katalinas)

Save the oysters!

In addition to eating oysters, you can help local oysters in other ways. Sea Grant, many partners, and a lot of volunteers are working to restore oyster populations and habitats. New Hampshire Sea Grant trains volunteers to be oyster gardeners. Many other Sea Grant programs also offer oyster gardening tips.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership operates in the Chesapeake Bay region and partners with restaurants to recover oyster shells. The discarded shells are then used to build new oyster habitat. (Photos: Katherine O'Reilly)

It's all about the people.

Sea Grant supports people learning from people, including sharing knowledge about oysters. Just about everything we do is in partnership with other individuals, organizations and public programs. With funding from Sea Grant, Oyster South is providing fellowships for Southern oyster farmers to learn from each other.

Above, oyster farmers (and one professional oyster shucker!) learn from another farmer in South Carolina (Photo: Brooke Carney). Left, Sea Grant professionals swap stories with a fisherman in Maine (Photo: Christopher Katalinas).

Happy National Oyster Day!

National Oyster Day is August 5. We hope you enjoy a few and maybe start an oyster tradition. Share your celebration by including #SeaGrantOysters in your social media posts.

You can also browse some of our favorite oyster recipes on Pinterest.

Photo: Katherine O'Reilly


cover photo: Florida Sea Grant

Created By
Brooke Carney

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