A group of Olympia area residents and neighborhood associations is seeking contributions and volunteers to plant oysters to help improve local water quality.
This is the 11th year the group has organized a mass oyster planting along the shores of Budd Inlet. It needs volunteers to assist with planting, as well as donors to contribute to purchasing the oyster seed.
A $34.50 donation buys a “grow bag” with about 100 oyster seeds inside, rope and rebar stakes attached. After a year, the baby oysters will be fully grown and may be released, and the grow bags can be used again to grow more oysters. The cost for seeds to refill grow bags is $10.50.
Orders must be received by July 20, and the oysters will be planted July 23-24.
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Oysters eat phytoplankton and free-swimming algae and improve water quality while they filter their food from the water, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. One oyster can filter as many as 50 gallons of water per day. They also remove nitrogen that causes algae blooms and red tides, promote eelgrass survival, and provide excellent habitat for fish and crabs.
The oysters will be planted around Budd Inlet in East Bay, West Bay and out to Boston Harbor, Cooper Point and Fishtrap, including East Bay Park, Rotary Park, Tugboat Annie’s, Mission Street Townhomes and on private shoreline.
Dan Mazur, a member of the East Bay Drive Neighborhood Association, described planting oysters as the fun of gardening without the weeding.
“I get to meet people from everywhere,” he said. “It’s great to know we are doing something good for the water quality and fish habitat of our bay.”
To order oysters, become a volunteer or for information, contact Dan Mazur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-515-8474, or Richard Wolf at email@example.com.