There were dark, dark decades in the history of the Chesapeake Bay oyster, when it appeared that noble species might disappear from our waters.
Twenty-five years ago the oyster population was so poor, and the restrictions so universal, that in this column we wrote “R.I.P. Oyster.”
We are so glad to have been wrong.
A group of scientists and another group of home growers kept the faith that the oyster population would rebound.
The aquaculturists grew oysters on racks and these oysters grew large enough to be eaten before succumbing to deadly oyster diseases. They also grew large enough to produce the all-important spat that brings new generations of oysters into the bay.
The scientists kept working too, cultivating oysters that seemed resistant to disease, and building reefs that are essential to healthy populations, and they too are seeing the results of their efforts.
Now the once-closed oyster grounds are open again, oyster bars are thriving, and Virginia has an oys...
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