University of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceHorn Point Oyster Hatchery

Oyster Hatchery Goals

The oyster aquaculture and oyster restoration activities at Horn Point Lab have many goals which we share with our oyster restoration partners. As part of the University Of Maryland Center for Environmental Science we have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research and educational projects. The oyster aquaculture facility serves the same purpose as a state agriculture experiment station for oysters. As such we are conducting research on oyster husbandry practices including conditioning and spawning oysters (oyster broodstock), larval culture, settlement, and spat survival during the hatchery process. Partnering with the Paynter Lab the oyster spat we produce are deployed to planting sites in a process designed to allow for evaluation of factors like, oyster spat survival, oyster growth, disease acquisition, and the structure of the communities that those oyster spat create once deployed to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Some Goals of the Horn Point Laboratory Oyster Hatchery

  • Production of disease free oyster spat on shell for oyster restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Determining ideal nutrition and diet for oyster larvae resulting in high settling rates
  • Conducting oyster experiments to improve oyster cultivation under hatchery conditions
  • To further study applications of introducing Crassostrea ariakensis into the Bay
  • To increase healthy oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay for both ecological and economic benefits
  • Conducting outreach programs demonstrating our results to our partners and interested groups and individuals
  • Working with other researchers on collaborative projects on important aspects of oyster hatcheries and oyster restoration
  • Maintenance of a state-of-the-art oyster production facility that is used to demonstrate new and innovative oyster aquaculture techniques