Shellfish Resources

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Oyster Restoration Workgroup

Oysters and Shoreline

Oysters and oyster reefs once were common along much of the U.S. coastline. The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, has declined to levels where serious thought is being given to introducing a non-native species, C. ariakensis, in the Chesapeake Bay. The Olympia oyster, Ostreola conchaphila, rarely is harvested today unless under aquaculture. Once valued primarily as a resource, oysters are now recognized as important “ecosystem engineers” in estuaries. Oysters create complex habitats relied on by numerous fish, crustaceans, bivalves, other invertebrates, birds, and mammals. During feeding, oysters also can filter large volumes of water, improving clarity and quality while transferring nutrients from the water column to the sediments. In recognition of the importance of oyster reefs to overall coastal ecosystem functions, large- and small-scale restoration of reef habitats is ongoing in most coastal states. However, consensus on what constitutes a successful reef restoration project currently does not exist.

East Coast Shellfish Growers Association (ECSGA)


The ECSGA represents over 1000 shellfish farmers from Maine to Florida. These proud stewards of the marine environment produce sustainable farmed shellfish while providing thousands of jobs in rural coastal towns.

The ECSGA informs policy makers and regulators to protect a way of life. For more details on what we do, check out this list of recent initiatives. Stay informed. Join the ECSGA listserv.


Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA)

Founded in 1930, the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association (PCSGA) represents growers in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Their members grow a wide variety of healthy, sustainable shellfish including oysters, clams, mussels, scallops and geoduck.

PCSGA works on behalf of its members on a broad spectrum of issues, including environmental protection, shellfish safety, regulations, technology, and marketing.