Tilghman Islanders Grow Oysters (TIGO) Help Filter the Bay

Tilghman Islanders Grow Oysters (TIGO)


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Help Filter the Bay & Grow Oysters!

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is helping to filter our local waters by adopting a private program for the Bay Hundred Area, based on the principles of the Marylanders Grow Oysters program.
Now without state funding to cover the local program's operational costs, our Tilghman Islanders Grow Oysters (TIGO) program is 100% funded through private donations to PWEC, and includes participants on Tilghman Island, Harris Creek, and Broad Creek, as well as on the waterways of Bozman and Neavitt.

Through this fun, educational program, citizen volunteers tend oysters for their first year of life as they grow in wire mesh cages suspended from piers.

If you own waterfront with a pier--whether it is residential or commercial--or have a boat slip, you can become an oyster farmer. Please volunteer to grow oysters with us.

The oyster spat and cages are provided through the generosity of our donors, and are distributed by Phillips Wharf to our growers.

The oysters require minimal care–periodically checking to make sure cages are not resting on the bottom. After about 9-10 months, the oysters are collected and planted on a sanctuary bar in Harris Creek, and a new group of spat are distributed to participating growers to start the process again. Growers enjoy the personal rewards of stewardship while improving a local oyster bar.

To date, Phillips Wharf has planted over 15 tons of spat on shell. We estimate that's at least 762,000 oysters, which have the ability to filter approximately 38.1 million gallons of water per day. All this is thanks to the efforts of those participating in TIGO.

Since the program's inception, Phillips Wharf has placed up to 620 oyster cages with 111 growers on Tilghman Island, Bay Hundred, and Harris and Broad Creek. Our goal is to have cages on every pier on Harris Creek, Broad Creek, and the Bayside!

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For RETURNING GROWERS, please complete a Renewal Registration Form:

NEW TIGO Renewal Form 2020-2021

 

To JOIN AS A NEW GROWER please complete a New Volunteer Form:

TIGO New Volunteer Form 2020-2021

 

You may return the forms by:

  • Mailing to Phillips Wharf Environmental Center.

  • Emailing as an attachment to [email protected]

Dear Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Supporter,

I want to share with you how Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is pivoting towards new horizons that strengthen our longevity into the future and make our educational programs much more accessible to diverse audiences.

In Phillips Wharf’s 14-year history – two challenges have remained constant—the rising costs of maintaining a waterfront campus and old buildings, and addressing the inaccessibility of Tilghman Island to many school systems and others unable to afford the cost or the time for the long trip from more urban areas like Easton.

With this in mind, Phillips Wharf’s Board of Directors have made a bold decision to ensure the sustainability of our future and educational programs by liquidating our assets on Tilghman Island—including the real estate and property—and re-focus the expected gains from the sale to re-open a location in Easton that the Board will determine.

Be assured—Phillips Wharf will always bring our students to meaningful interactions with the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem and inhabitants. We know technology and our FishMobile, for example, can bring experiences and education to more students when we can focus our operations more on education, and less on maintaining an underutilized campus with mounting deferred maintenance costs and more.

Phillips Wharf will continue to carry the essence of encouraging, educating, and engaging Chesapeake Bay stewards from a new location soon. In addition, we’ll be sure to share this exciting news when it comes to fruition with you.

In the meantime, thank you for caring about our students and the Chesapeake Bay as a natural resource and source of healthy seafood and productive jobs for the Shore’s residents. We are excited to bring the Chesapeake Bay closer to our students and the public in ways that are more meaningful. This is a bold step forward not only in Phillips Wharf’s survivability, but also in our thrivability.

Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have. You can reach me at [email protected] or 410-886-9200.

Warmest regards,

 

Matthew Albers

Board President, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center