Southampton Town Trustees, in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department, joined the Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension in implementing a community oyster garden since March of 2009. The Southold Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT) program was introduced to the North Fork back in 2004, and has become a huge success. This year SPAT sponsored its first oyster garden in Southampton Town at Shinnecock Bay in Hampton Bays. This program seeks to restore the shellfish populations within the town, as well as educate residents about their plight by teaching them how to grow and harvest their own oysters.
For a fee of $200, interested participants 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. For more information, contact Trustee Ed Warner at 631-287-5717.