Oysters are the main species of shellfish raised by SPAT Program members.

Oysters are the main species of shellfish raised by SPAT Program members.

SPAT Program

Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training

Join SPAT! Membership information here

"Spat" is the word for the tiniest form of shellfish that has settled onto the place where it will live out its life. The SPAT program was created to encourage community members to become stewards of their environment and to restore shellfish to the bays.

To augment the limited staff of the Cornell Marine Program, volunteers help produce shellfish to seed the bays. SPAT volunteers and members grow miniscule shellfish in containment, away from predators, until they reach an adult size when they release their spawn into local creeks and bays and promote wild settlement.

Volunteers and members are offered monthly workshops and provided with shellfish seed and necessary tools and supplies to grow their shellfish gardens either at their own waterfront or in the SPAT community garden. In exchange for a minimal fee, all permits are secured and members may keep their oysters for their personal use. No oysters can be sold.

Our volunteers and members maintain their own hatchery (the"SPAT Shack"), and nursery. Over 1,000 people have taken part in this program and it continues to grow each year.

Join SPAT! Membership information here

If you would like to make a donation to SPAT: Printable Donation Form or Online Donation Form. Make sure you click on 'Marine', then enter 'SPAT Program' in the special instructions.


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Marine program apparel website

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Kim Tetrault
Community Aquaculture Specialist

Last updated November 16, 2018