Like many waterfront homeowners on the Chesapeake Bay, our dock has been populated for the second year in a row with a few cages of spats (young bivalves that have just attached themselves to hard surfaces). In a new citizen stewardship program that complements Maryland’s large-scale oyster restoration efforts, waterfront property owners are now growing oyster spat in more than 5,000 cages in 12 Bay tributaries this fall. Oyster reefs are critical to the Bay’s recovery. A healthy oyster reef not only filters the Bay’s dirty waters, but also provides crucial substrate for an underwater community that furnishes valuable life support for fish and crabs. And we are more than happy to help!