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What do Hampton City Schools students, businesses and environmental groups all have in common? OYSTERS!

Hampton City Schools’ Oyster Restoration Program will be amongst the businesses and environmental organizations featured at the “SHELLabration” celebration on Saturday, November 19, 2022, from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Docks in Downtown Hampton.

Hampton City Schools’ Oyster Restoration Program was started in 2015 as part of the school division’s efforts to meet the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement requirement of providing one Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) to every student in elementary, as well as middle and high school. The Oyster Restoration Program enables students to serve as citizen scientists working to solve a real-world problem of unhealthy waterways while also addressing science standards of learning. Hampton teachers and students have positively impacted water quality, habitat restoration, and reduced pollution through their efforts, which has resulted in more than 100,000 oysters placed on our local sanctuary reefs in the Hampton and Back Rivers.

The public is encouraged to support the teachers and students at Andrews PreK-8 School, Armstrong School for the Arts, Mary T. Christian Elementary School, Eaton Fundamental Middle School, Hampton High School, Jones Magnet Middle School, Kecoughtan High School, Kilgore Gifted Center, Langley Elementary School, Mary Peake Elementary School, and Phillips Elementary School who will be staffing the Hampton City Schools exhibit on November 19.

In addition, there will be other fun and educational exhibits from such organizations as:

-Chesapeake Bay Foundation/Chesapeake Oyster Alliance

-Hampton History Museum

-Virginia Institute of Marine Science

-Lambert Shellfish

-Virginia Tech’s Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) 

-Hampton Roads Sanitation District

-Hampton University

-Resilient Hampton 

-Downtown Hampton Development Partnership (DHDP)

-Shored Up LLC

The Hard Times Band will also be playing blues and jazz for everyone to enjoy!

Local restaurants will offer “oysterific” menu items as well as seasonal treats, such as hot chocolate and s’mores kits for their firepits. There will be oyster shucking and gardening demonstrations, games, door prizes, and more! Participants will have the opportunity to order fresh whole Virginia oysters to take home—just in time for Thanksgiving (pre-orders recommended).

We have a lot to be proud of here in Hampton when it comes to efforts to restore oysters and the Bay! Come celebrate!