In Virginia, oysters have influenced our history, our industry, our culture and, of course, our eating habits. When Captain John Smith sailed into the Chesapeake Bay, he said oysters were so plentiful “they lay thick as stones.” By the 1980s, overharvesting, disease and pollution had reduced the number of oysters to just one percent of those historic levels. But there is now reason for optimism as oysters are making a comeback. Chefs, oystermen, conservationists, oyster-lovers, and poets Nikki Giovanni (Virginia Tech) and Tim Seibles (Old Dominion University) all weigh-in about the legend and allure of Crassotrea virginica.
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