The Full Story

Our Work

Since the beginning science, stewardship, and sustainability have been a priority. Toby Island Bay Oyster Farm evolved from TerrAqua Environmental Science and Policy, an environmental consulting firm founded by Dr. Dan in 1996.  Today we use these values to sustain and grow a proud Chincoteague oyster farming tradition.

 

Check out some of the ways how...

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Restoration

The our regions's native oyster population has been estimated at as low as one percent of historic levels, making restoration critical to help improve local water quality, increase local economic viability, and protect shorelines from erosion, rising tides and increasingly severe storm surges. 

Toby Island Bay is developing partnerships with community groups, institutions, agencies and organizations to restore Chincoteague Bay's natural oyster populations. 

Monitoring

Toby Island Bay is partnering with Aqualink, a philanthropic engineering organization working on building ocean conservation technology.  

With Aqualink you'll be able to access farm info like:

 

significant wave height
peak period
mean period
peak direction
mean direction
peak directional spread
mean directional spread
wind speed
wind direction
GPS coordinates
surface temperature (placement configurable)
subsurface temperature (placement configurable)

Who can say that about their local farm?

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Safety

As you know, as additional safety measures, Toby Island does not harvest and sell oysters off-island when water temperatures exceed 75° F*.  It is a voluntary policy to reduce vibrio risks, even though the VA DOH and the FDA allow year-round harvesting.  In the past, we have shipped our oysters periodically to an independent, certified laboratory that tests for pathogens including vibrios.  In 2021 we began a voluntary monthly program with the VA DOH as the DOH evolves from regulations based on modeling to regulations based on more sensitive molecular tissue samples. 

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Research

In cooperation with Dennis McIntosh at Delaware State University in Dover, which is where the lab work is being done. We are developing ways to improve your consuming experience.  Our goals are ambitious -- by advancing aquaculture and improving the safety of seafood products.