From the Bay, For the Bay is Back, October 5-12!
Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the return of the From the Bay, For the Bay Dine Out, a week-long celebration of Maryland seafood benefiting the Oyster Recovery Partnership. More than 50 high-profile restaurants have already signed up, including Ryleigh’s Oyster House, Woodberry Kitchen, Rocklands, and Matchbox. Last year’s inaugural promotion proved a success, raising $20,000 for oyster restoration projects.
“From the Bay, For the Bay is a win-win for the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding communities,” said Governor O’Malley. “This initiative not only helps fund oyster restoration efforts, it shows our support for businesses that value locally-sourced seafood, and the hardworking men and women who supply it.”
From October 5 through 12, participating restaurants from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia are featuring fresh Maryland seafood dishes. For every featured dinner the restaurants sell, they will donate $1 to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a non-profit organization working to rebuild the Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population.
Governor O’Malley declared October Maryland Seafood month because it is one of the best times of the year to enjoy food caught from the Bay. During the fall months, the fish are abundant and Maryland’s iconic blue crabs are larger and heavier, fattening up for the winter.
“October is an outstanding month for seafood, with delicacies such as striped bass, crab, oysters, flounder, dogfish, bluefish, lobster and scallops all in season and on menus throughout the region,” said Steve Vilnit, DNR Fisheries marketing director. “This is the perfect opportunity for us to support our local watermen, while enjoying the best seafood the Bay area has to offer.”
Last year, 150 restaurants and 25,000 patrons participated in the event. Since it began in 2011, the initiative has raised more than $40,000 for the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Donations from the promotion go directly back into the Bay by supporting projects such as producing and planting tens of millions of spat (baby oysters) on shell, and expanding the regional Shell Recycling Alliance that recycles restaurants’ used oyster shells.
Over the past decade, the Oyster Recovery Partnership has planted hundreds of millions of oysters in the Bay. Oysters are a critical species to the Bay’s long-term recovery ─ a healthy oyster reef not only filters the Bay’s waters, but also provides habitat for other marine life such as blue crabs and striped bass.
“Oysters are very important to our Bay’s water quality, serving as Mother Nature’s natural filter,” said Stephan Abel, executive director of the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “This initiative provides a fun and tasty way for us to raise money to cultivate and plant more oysters, and celebrate our beloved Bay.”
Citizens are encouraged to visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fromthebay/ and see which of their favorite restaurants are participating so they can enjoy a delicious seafood meal and help restore the Bay. DNR hosts a webpage and mobile web app featuring interactive maps to help seafood lovers locate and contact participating restaurants.
Through events like From the Bay, For the Bay, DNR and its partners are working to highlight the State’s down-home delicacies and hardworking watermen, and support the Bay’s restoration.
Restaurateurs who would like to participate should contact Steve Vilnit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to follow Maryland Seafood on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandSeafood.