Community Festival Benefits Habitat Restoration


Date: September 15, 2016

Community Festival Benefits Restoration
Each year the Central Region Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland (CCA MD) partners with the city of Westminster Maryland to host a free city wide Oyster Stroll. The festival benefits CCA MD’s award winning oyster restoration project, the Living Reef Action Campaign. The purpose and mission are to support restoration efforts for the wild oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay while educating several hundred students on the importance of restoring and creating new habitat throughout our coastal waters. “The Oyster Stroll not only brings people to Westminster to eat, shop and experience Downtown, it also enables our community to learn about the role oysters play in restoring our clean water,” said Missie Wilcox, marketing consultant for the City of Westminster. “This fun event engages our students, our businesses and our community in CCA’s restoration project.”

The Festival, sponsored by Sweetwater Brewing Company, Maggie’s Restaurant, and New Windsor State Bank, features a savory “stroll” through the historic district of Westminster, Md. Attendees have the chance to savor shucked and cooked oyster specialties at more than 20 outside locations downtown while viewing concrete reef ball construction throughout town and recycled shell bagging taking place from Carroll County Public School and Career Tech Center students.

Also on hand at the festival will be the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland DNR, Natural Resource Police and the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative who are all participating with exhibits to help raise awareness about oysters and reef development in Maryland.

Together with the City of Westminster, CCA Maryland has put together an amazing line up for this year’s Oyster Stroll. Sweetwater Brewing Company is hosting a large outdoor Beer Garden featuring some of their best seasonal beers and a chance to win their Sweetwater Kayak.  There are several live music stages throughout the downtown district, many children’s activities, including a book signing by children’s author Elaine Ann Allen, Jay Fleming will be on hand signing his new book “Working the Water” while displaying his awe-inspiring photography, a Car & Motorcycle Show, Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders & Poe the Mascot, along with some of the best Chesapeake inspired art and crafts being showcased throughout downtown. “Last year we had nearly 3000 people come to Westminster to experience all the activities our downtown businesses put together,” said Jim Breuer, owner of Maggie’s Restaurant in downtown Westminster.  “For me, it’s about bringing people into the city to experience firsthand all our city has to offer while tasting the many varieties of oysters now being sustainably grown throughout the Chesapeake Bay and served in many of our restaurants.”

For more information on the event, please contact Rick Elyar, CCA MD at 410-977-3782 or Online information about the event can be found at and information about our restoration work can be found in the habitat section of



The Building Conservation Trust (BCT) was created to provide vital funding for grassroots-driven projects that achieve one or more of five key objectives: Restore degraded habitats; Create new habitats; Advance the science of coastal habitat and marine fisheries conservation; Foster habitat stewardship; and Educate coastal communities on the value of conservation.