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Perdue Volunteers and Oyster Recovery Partnership Fill 710 Shells Bags to Help Restore Bay’s Oyster Population

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Perdue associate volunteers prepare to fill oyster bags with shells as part of an Oyster Recovery Partnership effort at the company’s headquarters in Salisbury, Md.
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Perdue associates Heather Byrd, left, and Dawn Hillman fill an oyster shell bag in support of the Marylanders Grow Oysters program.
SALISBURY, MD. (Thursday, October 29, 2015) — More than 40 associates and family members joined with Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) representatives to fill about 710 oyster shell bags in support of Marylanders Grow Oysters program, an initiative run by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to engage water front home owners in helping to restore the Bay’s oyster population. The bagged shells will provide a home for more than 280,000 new oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.   

“The Oyster Recovery Partnership has led the way in efforts to protect and preserve the regional oyster population, and we’re proud to continue our partnership with ORP that highlights our company commitment to environmental stewardship through this volunteer effort,” said Steve Levitsky, vice president of sustainability at Perdue Farms.   

The Marylanders Grow Oysters program provides an opportunity for waterfront property owners to grow oysters from their piers to be planted on local oyster sanctuary preserves around the Chesapeake Bay to help rebuild the oyster population.  

The Oyster Recovery Partnership delivered two large truckloads of cleaned and aged oyster shells to Perdue’s Corporate Office parking lot where volunteers filled nylon bags with the empty shells. The bags are a key ingredient in the oyster production process. Young larvae will attach themselves to the recycled shells through a setting process using large tanks filled with water at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Oyster Hatchery in Cambridge, where the larvae are produced. Once the larvae attach to the shell, the baby oysters (now called “spat”) will be distributed among the 30 tributaries participating in the 2015-2016 Marylanders Grow Oysters program.

“Perdue Farms is a long-time supporter of efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.  The work of the Perdue associates will have a direct and meaningful impact on oyster restoration and improved water quality,” said Paul Schurick, director of partnerships for the Oyster Recovery Partnership.
 
As Mark Patterson, project coordinator for Perdue’s oyster recovery volunteer efforts, explains, “This marks our sixth year partnering with ORP for community-based conservation efforts. At Perdue, our stewardship value guides us in our commitment to protect our environment and we take great pride in efforts that enable our associates to give back for the betterment of our community and the environment.”

About Perdue Farms  

Perdue Farms is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for everyone we touch through innovative food and agricultural products. Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, to our expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the PERDUE® brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, and continuing with our third generation of leadership with Chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained family owned and family operated. We are the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Through our PERDUE®, PERDUE® SIMPLY SMART®, PERDUE® HARVESTLAND®, COLEMAN PREMIUM® and COLEMAN ORGANIC® food brands; agricultural products and services; and stewardship and corporate responsibility programs, we are working to become the most-trusted name in food and agricultural products. Learn more about Perdue Farms at www.perduefarms.com.

  
About the Oyster Recovery Partnership

The Oyster Recovery Partnership has a 20-year history of bringing together state and federal government agencies, scientists, watermen and conservation organizations with the common goal of oyster restoration. The Oyster Recovery Partnership has planted 5 billion oysters, rehabilitated more than 1,600 acres of oyster reefs and recycled over 2,400 tons of oyster shell from restaurants throughout the region. For more information about the Oyster Recovery Partnership, visit http://www.oysterrecovery.org or call 410-990-4970.

About Marylanders Grow Oysters 

Marylanders Grow Oysters is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. For more information about Marylanders Grow Oysters, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/oysterproject.

 

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