NC Oyster Week


Join us October 12 - 16, 2020 as we virtually "shellebrate" the history, culture, economy, and ecology of oysters in North Carolina!

Oysters play an important role in coastal communities. In the environment, oysters filter water, improving water quality, and create habitat for other animals. Their unique flavor makes them a desirable dish, supporting the livelihoods of watermen and local economies across the state. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, NC Oyster TrailNorth Carolina Sea Grant, and the NC Coastal Federation have partnered to bring you five days of oyster facts, resources, and programming. 

We will be sharing on social media using the hashtags #NCOysterWeek #NCOysters #GiveAShuck.

Oyster Week Schedule

October 12: History

October 12: History

Scientists believe that the first oyster appeared in the Triassic period (over 200 million years ago) when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Fossil records show that the oyster dates to 145 million years ago. We may not go that far back be we are taking a deep dive into the history of oysters in North Carolina. 

Follow the hashtags for:

  • Archival photos
  • Historical stories
  • Natural History 
  • Research
October 13: NC Oyster Trail

October 13: NC Oyster Trail

The NC Oyster Trail's mission is to provide oyster tourism experiences that help sustain and grow N.C. oyster supply and demand, resulting in economic, environmental and social benefits to the state’s seafood industry and coastal communities.

Learn more about the oyster trail's:

  • Purpose
  • Programs
  • Resources


October 14: Ecology

October 14: Ecology

Oyster populations, worldwide, are at record lows. Despite some recovery in recent years, in North Carolina, it is estimated that oysters are at about 15-20% of historic harvest levels. Oysters are also ecologically important. They improve water quality by filtering particles from the water and serve as prey and habitat for many other animals. 

We are going to explore:

  • Water Quality
  • Reef Restoration
  • Educational resources
October 15: Culture

October 15: Culture

North Carolina coastal communities have centered around oysters for centuries. Oysters support a viable commercial and recreational fishery that is an important part of North Carolina’s cultural heritage and economy. 

We're going to examine:

  • Connections to the coast 
  • Coastal communities
  • Harvesting
  • Oyster farms
October 16: Economy

October 16: Economy

Oysters are valuable to North Carolina's economy. Oyster reefs create feeding grounds and nursery areas for many other commercially and recreationally important fish species. North Carolina has a growing marine aquaculture — or mariculture — industry including soft crabs, clams, oysters and finfish. During winter months, wild-harvested oysters provide needed income to support coastal fishing families, while providing tasty, healthy local food to seafood markets.
We are going to share resources about:
  • Mariculture
  • Oyster data
  • Careers