Doesn’t an oyster sanctuary sound nice?

We, along with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Baltimore businesses and residents like you, have come together to form the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership.

In this program, baby oysters are grown at designated oyster garden locations in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, October through June. After nine months, the matured oysters are taken by boat to a protected oyster sanctuary in the Patapsco River, where they will live out the rest of their lives.

Besides preserving Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population, the goal of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership is to also train its volunteers to become “citizen scientists” who can speak to others about the water pollution challenges facing Baltimore Harbor, and the role that oysters play in improving water health.


The oysters we grow are for restoration purposes only and not for eating. We grow oysters because of their amazing ability to filter pollution out of the water. A full-grown oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water every day! Two hundred years ago there were enough oysters to filter all of the water in the Chesapeake Bay every three days. Today it takes the  remaining oysters over a year to filter the same amount of water.


There are currently two ways to get involved in the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership. If you’re an individual, you can volunteer to help us install and maintain our large public oyster gardens in Canton and near Federal Hill. Oyster Gardening days will be hosted two Saturday mornings each month from fall through spring, except in freezing weather. Please check Healthy Harbor Facebook events for dates and registration, or email for more information.

Corporate sponsors of the Waterfront Partnership are eligible to have their employees participate in the Oyster Partnership and should contact