For nearly two decades, a diverse group of people involved in growing, harvesting, studying, managing and eating oysters have worked together to protect and restore N.C.’s oyster habitats and fishery.

The fourth edition of The Oyster Restoration and Protection Plan for North Carolina: A Blueprint for Action 2021-2025 provides current and future stakeholders with cohesive direction and guidance that allows them to come together as a united force to implement oyster restoration, protection, harvest and education strategies to produce tangible benefits for the environment and economy.

This Blueprint builds off of earlier accomplishments. It incorporates the latest science to enhance and improve upon past practices and initiatives.

Major Accomplishments of the Blueprint 2003-2020

  • Restoring nearly 450 acres of oyster habitat for environmental benefits and harvest opportunities.

  • Increasing funds for oyster related programs by a factor of 10.

  • Documenting the economic benefits of oyster restoration; for each $1 invested, at least $4.05 in benefit are realized.

  • Maintaining a viable and dynamic level of wild harvest, with a peak of 186,000 bushels in 2010.

  • Developing the North Carolina Strategic Plan for Mariculture.

  • Growing the shellfish aquaculture industry from $250,000 to $5 million and increasing the number of farms in the state tenfold.

  • Developing a nationally recognized shell recycling program that collected nearly 250,000 bushels of shell from 2003-2015.

  • North Carolina joining NOAA’s National Shellfish Initiative.

  • Building and strengthening a coalition of more than 25 partners dedicated to the restoration and protection of oysters in the state.

View Previous editions of the Blueprint:

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