Oysters JB (3)
Image by Janice Bovino


counting oyster seed

SPAT members counting and sorting oyster seed

3 month old oyster seed

Three month old oyster seed

small oysters

Baby oysters

Oysters JB (9)
Image by Janice Bovino


SPAT Membership



The SPAT Program is operating by appointment only at the Marine Center in Southold. If you are a member or want to become one, please make sure we have your application, risk acknowledgement waiver new COVID-19 waiver. and email Kim at kwt4@cornell.edu to reserve your appointment. 

Download and fill out a daily health screening form each time you come to the Marine Center, and email that daily form to: ccescovidreport@cornell.edu

Please sign up for the email (right sidebar), to stay updated.

Our facility is closed on the weekends! SPAT starts up in late spring and runs until about Thanksgiving time, when you can over-winter your oysters. 

After many exciting years of SPAT (launched in 2000), we continue to open our doors to the community for new membership. We invite you to join us in our 20th year of creating a model for our community based shellfish restoration effort.

  • Learn to culture, plant and monitor seed oysters, clams and scallops in your own shellfish "garden".
  • Keep 100% of your garden harvest for personal use. Sorry, SELLING IS PROHIBITED.
  • Participate in monthly seminars to learn more about local marine environment and the role you can play in your community.
  • Volunteer for hands-on operations Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30 a.m. - noon.
  • Volunteer to assist in administrative tasks to support the SPAT program.

Master SPAT Shellfish Gardener - Cedar Beach Creek ($150/yr.)

Entitles you to one year of admission to monthly workshops, mailings on SPAT activities, training and use of aquaculture gear, training in the Community Hatchery/Nursery operations, access to your shellfish garden at Cedar Beach including 1000 oyster seed. *Please note that SPAT hours at the Marine Center are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. The Marine Center is closed Saturday & Sunday to SPAT - there are no exceptions*.

Ambassador SPAT Shellfish Gardener - At your own and approved site* ($250/1st year - Renewal fee $155/yr.)

Homeowners wishing to grow oysters at their own dock through our program need to secure a License to Collect and Possess from the DEC. Once you receive your license, you can mail a copy along with your SPAT application and you can receive your 1,000 oyster seed  (application found here). The waters must be certified "open"  to be allowed to grow, (see map here). All seed, equipment and training is included. *Must have dock or bulkhead to secure gear to*. DEC permit is valid for 1 year and must be renewed annually. Renewals need annual report found here.

*New applicants must include a Google Earth photo with your dock circled*

*Available only in certified waters, click here to check your address..

Sustaining SPAT Member ($100)

Entitles you to attend workshops and all SPAT activities and mailings. This type of membership allows you to participate in the program and be part of the effort to restore shellfish without the responsibility of tending 1000 oysters.

SPAT Corporate Sponsors ($500 and up)

Entitles sponsors to all benefits of Master and Ambassador Shellfish Gardeners, at either their own site or at Cedar Beach, plus promotional opportunities for their business. Ongoing sponsorships will boost the SPAT program immensely by providing the needed matching local support required by many public granting agencies and foundations.

Community Oyster Garden, Tiana Bay - Hampton Bays

Registration Opens: TBD

The Town Parks & Recreation Department is dedicated to offering quality recreation programming and first-class park and beach facilities for our many residents and visitors.

Registration for all Parks & Recreation programs is currently open and on-going, by mail, in-person, online, or by phone. ALL major credit cards accepted. Our online registration website can be found at


Ages: 18-Adult, Fee: $200 Residents Only

Learn how to grow oysters as part of an established East End oyster restoration initiative administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. For a fee of $200, interested participants in the Town of Southampton are given lessons along with 1,000 baby oysters and two floating cages for their oysters to grow and be protected in. Once fully grown, all the oysters can either be put back into the bay or half can be kept for consumption. Workshops will include life history, culture techniques, culinary tips, maintenance of gardens and all of the things you always wanted to know about shellfish but were afraid to ask. You must register for this each year. PARTICIPANTS MUST BE PREPARED TO GET WET & SOMEWHAT FOULED.

For 2021, Tiana growers are limited to 60. Join directly through the Southampton Town Parks & Recreation Department6 Newtown Rd., Hampton Bays:

Town of Southampton Parks and Recreation Dept

All Contributions to the SPAT program are always welcome and are fully tax deductible.

Join us in a learning experience, be part of our community effort and BRING BACK shellfish to our bays.

For additional information, contact: Kim Tetrault ( kwt4@cornell.edu)

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.


Darci Bielenda
Marine Program Sr. Administrative Assistant SCMELC
631-852-8660 x 21

Last updated January 4, 2022