south river restoration


The South River Federation, in partnership with Marylanders Grow Oysters, gives hundreds of waterfront property owners the opportunity to participate in hands on oyster restoration.  Those with access to community piers or have their own, grow millions of young oysters in cages suspended from private piers each year. Their goal? To protect young oysters during their vulnerable first year of life, so they may be planted on local sanctuaries where the oysters enrich the ecosystem and our oyster population. By fostering these young oysters, our citizen partners are also generating an abundance of fish and other aquatic life and creating live bottom, populated by oysters and other creatures, on sanctuaries closed to harvesting.




Registration Deadline for the 2016-2017 oyster growing season is

July 15th.

Email Nancy Merrill (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to reserve your oyster spat for next year!


Requirements for growing oysters:

  1. Be a current member of the South River Federation
  2. Attend an oyster husbandry workshop hosted by the South River Federation.
  3. Growers are responsible for picking up their oyster spat in late summer or early fall during select spat pickup times.  No deliveries.
  4. Maintain oyster cages throughout growing season.  This includes cleaning the spat and cages on a regular basis and ensuring that the spat remain below the frozen surface water during the winter.
  5. Oyster Growers are responsible for depositing their oysters in the Glebe Bay sanctuary at the end of the annual program either by boat or by driving them to a set location.  This is done during the South River Days Oyster Flotilla - usually the early part of June.

Oyster Growing Manual and Standard Operating Procedures

Each Oyster Grower that attends a workshop will receive a copy of our Oyster Growers' Manual.  The manual includes the Standard Operating Procedures, maps highlighting harvested and protected sanctuaries in the South River, as well as other informational resources.

mgocoverOyster Growers Manual

Standard Operating Procudures

Additional Resources:

 South River Federation Oyster Research Project

copy of dsc_0015In an effort to expand our understanding of growing oysters in the South River, Growers are invited to participate in a research project to monitor oyster growth and mortality.   Participants will measure the length of spat, track mortality, and measure dissolved oxygen levels throughout the growing season.  A random, unbiased sample must be used to create the most accurate representation of your entire oyster population.  It is important not to intentionally select shells that exhibit a certain characteristic because that will skew the data.  These measurements must be taken a minimum of once a month excluding the times when the surface water is frozen over.  Data will be recorded on data sheets and submitted to Nancy Merrill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You can download the data sheets below or email Jennifer for Word doc. files:

NEW: Simplified Mortality and Growth Data Sheet
Survival/Mortality Data Sheet - PdfGrowth Data Sheet - Pdf



Monitoring oyster spat growth