Turn Your Dock Into An Oyster Garden

We need your dock.

Participation is simple. Mobile Baykeeper does all the work and you retain full access to your pier. Your participation helps combat erosion, cleanse our waters, and bolster marine habitats.

We’re proud to partner with Auburn University’s Oyster Gardening Program. Together, we’re working hand in hand to amplify our impact on oyster restoration in our beautiful bay. Our project complements Auburn’s existing program, aiming to enhance and expand the sanctuary we all strive to provide for our oyster friends.

We have all the docks we need this year but we hope to see the program grow over time. Submit your information below to stay in the know as scale up.

Oyster Garden Interest

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The Oyster Garden Program is a key component of Mobile Baykeeper’s Oyster Restoration Initiative and will help us achieve our goal of growing one million oysters by 2027. By engaging local private homeowners in oyster restoration activities, the Oyster Garden Program enables us to strengthen community bonds and instill a sense of pride and ownership in protecting and preserving our natural resources while also contributing the overall biodiversity and ecological resilience of Mobile Bay.  

Each garden consists of ten cages containing fifty recycled oyster shells per cage. Every recycled oyster shell in the cage is inoculated with 20-40 oyster spat (i.e., baby oysters) and each cage has the potential to grow up to 1,000 oysters over the course of its six-month growing season in a garden. During this growing season, the oysters may require separation into additional cages meaning that, over time, as many as 20+ cages may be hung on each dock. In total, each garden can grow as many as 10,000 oysters for placement in habitat in Mobile Bay. Importantly, Mobile Baykeeper’s staff and AmeriCorps team members complete all maintenance activities required to grow the oysters, thus removing the burden of physically taxing and time-consuming activities from homeowners.   

In 2023, Mobile Baykeeper ran a pilot program with four oyster gardens located on Dauphin Island and on Bon Secour Bay. These pilot gardens grew approximately 40,000 oysters for placement in the Bay.  With a goal of growing 500,000 oysters over a five-year period through the program, the remaining oysters will be grown through an aggressive but targeted plan to incrementally recruit and then retain oyster garden participants in both Mobile and Baldwin Counties from 2024-2027.