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September 2012 Oyster Planting Summary

Dear CBOCS Members and Friends:

With our yearling oysters tucked safely into the Bay, September 8th, 2012 marked a truly successful and gratifying conclusion to the inaugural year of the Chesapeake Beach Oyster Cultivation Society (CBOCS). On that day more than 50 people joined together to leave a small slice of the Bay a better place; with high spirits, lots of sweat, and a few drops of blood (Oyster and barnacle shells can be sharp!) we emptied 26 floating oyster cages, a.k.a. Buoyant Oyster Cultivation Systems (BOCS), and planted nearly 100,000 yearling oysters on “Old Rock”, a traditional oyster bar that lies in an oyster sanctuary just offshore from Chesapeake Beach. 

The planting provided some incredible sights! An ingenius pulley line erected over Fishing Creek and several boats moved BOCSes from under the Railway Trail boardwalk to Abner’s Marina; a crane lifted 100+ pound BOCSes onto emptying racks; oysters were transferred to buckets; empty cages were power washed and scraped free of barnacles in preparation for a new batch of spat; and finally oysters were counted, and planted in the Bay. More impressive yet is that it only took four hours to do all this work thanks to the many wonderful helping hands of CBOCS members, the support and planning of the Town’s facilities crew, and the remarkable engineering work of Jay Berry, John Bacon and Paul Woodburn who designed and fabricated the lift and emptying racks for removing the yearling oysters from the BOCSes safely and quickly! 

Why such extensive operations and equipment? Quite simply, logistics and safety. Our Bay planting site is about a mile out in the Bay; a BOCS is not designed for such a long tow on rough Bay waters; also, when filled with yearling oysters a BOCS is too heavy and awkward to safely lift by hand. So we had to get creative to meet these challenges. Words really do not do justice to the energy and ingenuity of everyone involved so be sure to take a look at the photos posted on the CBOCS web page (click here) and Facebook pages (click here) when you get a chance.

Our thanks to everyone who participated! 

Names of participants are listed below. It was compiled from our sign-in sheet. If you participated and don’t see your name, please let us know and we’ll add you to the list. 

Also a special thanks to: Bobby Abner, Freddie Donovan, Dave Eisenberg, Mike O’Keefe, and Larry Ringgold for providing nautical support and expertise. In addition, Bobby Abner graciously allowed us to use his marina as our staging area.

Participants: Bobby Abner, John Bacon, Tara Bardos-Levan, Ian Beard, James Berry, John Berry, Amenda Brown, Denis Brown, Raymond Chu, Alex Coull, Dave Coull, Melanie Crowder, Rose Dann, Freddie Donovan, Dave Eisenberg, Megan Eisenberg, Mary Butz and Family, Nancy Feuerle, Chris Hardisty, Lauven Havertty, Toni Healey, Elizabeth Henderson, Dave Hendry, Kathy Johnson, Jim Katiet, Terry Klazer, Cathy Letteney, Elissa Levan, Eunice Lin, Debbie Malba, Grace Malba, Lina Mann, Kelly Norton, Emma O’Keefe, Mike O’Keefe, Keith Pardieck, Kim Perkoski, Skyler Puliatti, Tara Puliatti, D.J. Richardson, Larry Ringgold, Karen Schumaker, Janice Sebald, Mike Shisler, Ed Solkowski, Charlie Valaer, Marianne Valaer, Bruce Wahl, Alicia Walsh, Bruce Watkins, Laura Watkins, Katherine West, Paul Woodburn, and Cordell Young.

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