News From the Water

Full-Service MGO Program – How to Get Involved

June 30, 2021


When we talk about restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we understand it can feel like a daunting task to start contributing. For residents and businesses on the water, Live Water Foundation, in partnership with Severn River Association (SRA) and the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), have you covered! It’s called Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO). The MGO program is specifically designed so you can help repopulate the Severn River with oysters by growing them on your pier.

an open oyster cage , filled with oysters spilling onto a dock

A mature oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. The Chesapeake Bay watershed needs cultivated oysters that reach this mature state and begin to keep our waters clean. If you have ownership of a dock, it’s within your power to start contributing to the bay’s health this summer.

The process starts with determining whether you’re interested in self-service or full-service oyster growing.




The self-service process begins by coordinating with the SRA to secure the oyster spat-on-shell with cages in time for the September to May winter growing season. Once you have the cages, they need to hang from your dock at a depth that ensures the oysters stay submerged even at low tides and following winter storms.

From September to May, the cages require a monthly visit to monitor depth and shake off any debris that could be restricting water flow. When June arrives, you’ve done the Chesapeake Bay watershed an excellent service and can deliver your baby oysters to plant at the Traces Hollow MGO reef on the Severn River. Here the oysters start cleaning the Severn River, which was only made possible by your contribution.

Want more information on how to become an oyster grower? Visit our partners at SRA here.



SRA has promoted the growth of oysters on private docks since 2008. Live Water Foundation is excited to expand on this restorative process in 2021 by offering full-service oyster growing support to homeowners and businesses that call Back Creek in Downtown Annapolis their home. Furthermore, Ellen Moyer Park home to Capital SUP and the Annapolis Maritime Museum Park campus will be the new distribution center for Back Creek homeowners and businesses who participate in the self-service and full-service programs.

      The full-service program will include:

          1. An accessible online portal for sign-up
          2. Email, phone, and/or text communication with the Live Water Foundation’s full-service MGO team
          3. Oyster cages containing live oyster spat will be installed for you on your pier in the fall
          4. Oysters will be maintained for you during the growing season by boat (checked, cleaned, & lowered, etc.)
          5. Oysters will be taken to the Severn River MGO Sanctuary Reef at Traces Hollow for you in June
          6. Cages will be collected, cleaned, and stored off-site, and refurbished

The full-service program is a maintenance-free and hassle-free way to contribute to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

$150 for three cages

$300 for six cages

$40/each for additional cages

Your financial contribution, as well as the generosity of opening your pier, represent sustainable health and wellness to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.




Self-Service MGO questions? Email

Full-Service MGO questions? Email


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