”The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, jutting deep into the coast between Maryland and Virginia. For centuries these waters teamed with abundant wildlife and various fisheries made up the bulk of the local economy – the oyster industry not least of them. In the mid-1980s a combination of overfishing, disease, and pollution dealt a near deathblow to the oyster population.”
“Oysters clean the bay by filtering excess nutrients such as nitrogen. These nutrients are commonly found in fertilizers. When it rains, the nutrients run into the bay. Oysters and clams are one of the only methods of removing these non-point source pollutants (meaning they don’t come from an identifiable source like a factory or drainage pipe).