We are all about Shellfish

RCTB engages people in growing shellfish from tiny seeds (the size of a pencil point) in June to the size of an M&M candy by October.

We also conduct remote sets where we enable oyster larvae to set on recycled clam and oyster shells. We fill and deploy bags of recycled shells into the bay to stabilize shorelines and catch natural spat from wild oysters. This close involvement establishes a sense of caring (stewardship) that helps people see the reason to change behavior firsthand.

RCTB is more than an endeavor to restock a decimated shellfish population. A critical part of our mission is forming and supporting partnerships with academics, municipalities, citizen groups and other environmental organizations in order to educate the public. This empowers and energizes them to make changes to their life style to improve the quality and resilience of the bay.

Shellfish 101

We grow shellfish, mostly seed clams and oysters to stock our local bay while we teach everyone how important and fragile the shellfish population and our environment really is.

Raising Happy Shellfish

There are certain things that all living things require; food, water, sunlight, oxygen. And they need a way to protect themselves from being eaten by predators! To get them started we grow them in a large tank called an upweller. This is really a shellfish nursery.

Services Shellfish Provide

The services are part of the reason we grow these animals. They serve as great research animals and they help the environment.

Everything is Connected

Shellfish are a very important part of the food web and since they live in the water in the estuary the includes Barnegat Bay, Manahawkin Bay and Little Egg Harbor Bay are connected to everything else on our planet by water.

Investing in the Watershed

Last year, RCTB volunteers collectively devoted over 6,500 hours of service to the Barnegat Bay Watershed.

Stabilizing Shorelines

Stabilizing shorelines is just one of the related activities necessary to make our estuary more resilient.

Committed to Education

Our education sessions have three main goals:

1) Teach how the clams and oysters that we grow improve the quality of the bay.

2) Raise awareness on how people can be proactive and make changes to their lifestyle to help the bay.

3) Stimulate them to action.

Historically, RCTB emphasized one major problem: too much nitrogen causing both healthy and unhealthy algae to grow beyond nature’s ability to reach a balance. Since clams and oysters are filter feeders, their natural feeding process has a positive effect on the nitrogen in the bay. Over the past few years, and with a greater interest in coastal resilience post-Superstorm Sandy (2012), RCTB sessions include explaining the many benefits that shellfish provide. They include shoreline stabilization, providing habitat for other species, which supports biodiversity and the economic benefits of a now growing shellfish industry. We explain that oyster and clam farmers practice sustainable harvesting, a clear benefit to the environment, and the fact that they are the first line of environmental observation.

Coastal Stewardship

Coastal Stewardship Course (formerly known as Shellfish Gardener course) in 2020 as a part of the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program (BBSRP) at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean County.

Shellfish in the Classroom

Stay up to date with our latest classroom events.

Family Learning Activities

RCTB volunteers provide the education and leadership to care for the shellfish and carry knowledge to the public. Fun, hands-on education is our great strength.

Speakers Bureau

The journey of 1000 miles starts with just one step. Our outreach programs provide the first step in various venues. Another way is through service, social, religious and environmental organizations as well as retirement communities.

Educational Field Trips

Every year ReClam the Bay organizes several trips open to the members exploring some the areas most important shellfish landmarks. These trips present a hands on learning experience guided by industry professionals.

Fairs and Festivals

Our extensive outreach includes a large number of community events held within the Barnegat Bay region. RCTB routinely provides educational sessions at events where attendees learn about the bay, shellfish and the environment. Fairs and festivals throughout Ocean County provide RCTB with the opportunity to reach new people each year. In 2018, RCTB participated at 17 of these general events.