Friends of the Rappahannock and partners create Ellery Kellum Reef Sanctuary in Carter’s Creek

LANCASTER COUNTY, VA- Thanks to a recent grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and a variety of local donations, Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) recently worked with Kellum Seafood and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program (VAOSRP) to restore two acres of oyster reef in Carter’s Creek.
Volunteers met at a Lancaster County Recycling Facility in Kilmarnock, Virginia where Lancaster County has collaborated with VAOSRP to collect recycled oyster shell for use in future restoration projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Altogether, 2,200 bushels of recycled oyster shells were installed in Carter’s Creek to help provide the necessary substrate for oyster strike.
Kellum Seafood has donated the two acres of restored leased bottom to FOR to keep as an oyster sanctuary to ensure oyster habitat and populations continue to thrive in Carter’s Creek. Special thank you to Bay Design Group for providing the surveys for the new oyster sanctuary.
“Oysters are an essential part of our local ecosystems as well as our local economies” said Richard Moncure, FOR River Steward. “An individual oyster is capable of filtering over 50 gallons of water every day, which has an incredible impact on our local water quality.”
Ensuring Carter’s Creek has suitable substrate for healthy oyster beds is paramount to ensure a healthy Carter’s Creek and to maintain the local seafood economy. FOR is currently working on another oyster reef project in Carter’s Creek and has boots on the ground in the area with information on how you can help clean Carter’s Creek.
For more information on this project or our continued work on oyster reef restoration in Carter’s Creek, please contact Richard Moncure at or stop by our office at 501N Church Lane Tappahannock, Virginia 22560.