Oysters were once so plentiful in the Chesapeake Bay that sailors feared running aground on the huge, reef-like beds that rose out of the water. Today however, over-harvesting and disease have pushed the native Virginia oyster to the brink of disappearing from these troubled waters forever. Fighting to save both the Chesapeake’s native oyster population, and in turn, their own way of life, a new generation of watermen and scientists has embraced the practice of sustainable oyster farming, or aquaculture, to not only save their industry, but also to clean up the Bay at large. The Chesapeake is dying, and many here believe that the humble oyster may be one of its unlikely saviors.

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