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 operated from the Marine Center in Southold. If you are a member or want to become one, please make sure we have your application and risk acknowledgement waiver.

SPAT hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings between 8:00 a.m. - noon. Once you send in your membership form and risk waiver you can visit the Marine Center in Southold during SPAT hours to get started. If you are an Ambassador member (growing at your own dock or bulkhead), please confirm with Darci that we have your NYS DEC license before you pick up oysters and gear (during SPAT hours only). 

  • Seed for new members may be picked up starting in April. You will begin with leftover oyster seed from the previous season.
  • Existing members can have newly spawned seed after the 4th of July. These oysters will have been spawned back in February. 
  • New or existing members can catch up on SPAT's Zoom Workshops HERE.

Please sign up for the email (right sidebar), to stay updated about news and events.

Our facility is closed on the weekends and holidays! SPAT starts up in late spring and runs until about Thanksgiving time, when you will 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 creating a model for our community based shellfish restoration efforts.

  • 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.

All  volunteer forms can be either emailed to: suffolkvolunteer@cornell.edu

or mailed to: 423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 100, Riverhead, New York 11901-3071

*Please note that the submit button on the form is for the background check - not the application. 

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 1,000 oyster seed. 

SPAT hours at the Marine Center are on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. – noon, during which time you may tend to your garden with other members. The marine center is CLOSED on the weekends and holidays. SPAT members may only tend to their oyster garden during the specific hours mentioned – 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*Available only in certified waters - click here to check your address. The license is free, valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually. All seed, equipment and training is included. *Must have dock or bulkhead to secure gear to*. 

Once you receive your license, you can mail or bring your SPAT application to the Marine Center in Southold to receive your 1,000 oyster seed  (application found here).

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



Information Session: Tuesday, June 13th-8:00-12:00 am (don’t need to be there for whole session). Workshop: The instructor, Kim Tetrault, will be at the site every Tuesday from June 13-October 17th, 8:30am to 12pm. October 18 -8:30 a.m. – Noon. Come to as many as fits your schedule (not there on July4 or August 15th). Overwintering and lecture: Tuesday, October 17 (During workshop) Town of Southampton Beach Parking Permit required.

Learn how to grow oysters as part of an established East End oyster restoration initiative administered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Receive gear, training and 1,000 oysters that will help you on your way to becoming a proficient Aquaculturalist. 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. Kim will be at Tiana on Tuesdays from 8am-12pm to assist throughout the summer and fall.

If you have been previously in this program, you must register for this program again to keep your oysters at this location. If you would like to finish growing your oysters, you can do so at the marine center in Southold. Participants must be prepared to get wet and somewhat fouled.

  • Material Cost $20 at site.
  • Course#: OYSTERGDN Location: Tiana Bayside Rec. Facility
  • Age: 12 and over Dates: 06/13/2023-10/17/2023
  • (No class Tues. Jul 4, Tues. Aug 15)
  • Day/Time: Tue 8:00AM-12:00PM Fee: Res: $200.00 (17 sessions)

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:  Print Form or use our Online Form. If you use the online form, use the drop-down to choose 'Marine' and type in 'SPAT' as your preference. 



Darci Bielenda
Marine Program Sr. Administrative Assistant SCMELC

Last updated April 29, 2024