The Southampton Town Trustees accepted the donation of 30,000 one-year-old oysters from Sea Scouts Ship 908 last month and released them into the waters of Cold Spring Pond in Southampton.
The oysters, and 350,000 hard clams, were raised from their larval stage at the Sea Scouts’ new shellfish hatchery at Conscience Point in North Sea Harbor.
The larval oysters were given to the Sea Scouts by the East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery in Montauk. Hatchery director Barley Dunn delivered the oysters to the Sea Scouts when they were approximately the size of a grain of sand.
Along with the 30,000 given to the Trustees, the Sea Scouts also provided another 30,000 oysters to a commercial shellfish grower, who will grow the oysters in cages until they are of marketable size.
The oysters released in Cold Spring Pond will take about one year to grow to market size and can then be harvested by anyone with a Southampton Town shellfish license. Cold Spring Pond and Mecox Bay, both fed by freshwater springs, hold Southampton’s largest populations of wild oysters.
“We have a nice working relationship with [the Sea Scouts],” Town Trustee Bill Pell said. “We support them, and they’re doing a lot of good things for the freeholders of the town.”
The Sea Scouts are a maritime-focused sub-organization of the Boy Scouts of America. They built their shellfish hatchery at Conscience Point last year, largely on donations of labor and materials and with the help of grant funding from the Town Trustees.