The Ferry Cove Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and will be one of Maryland’s only private hatcheries focused on producing oyster larvae and seed to support Maryland’s iconic oyster industry. 

Over the last decade, there has been a resurgence in the demand for shellfish and has a result, the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry is rapidly expanding its oyster production capacity. A limiting factor for this eco-friendly industry is the availability of oyster larvae and seed.  From hatchery technicians to watermen, oyster aquaculture is providing income opportunities for many of the State’s rural and working waterfront communities that border the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Oysters are also good for the environment. In addition to filtering excess nutrients from the Bay, oysters provide valuable habitat for marine life that supports the Bay’s other key species – the Rockfish and Blue Crab.

Ferry Cove Project is being supported by the Philip E and Carole R Ratcliffe Foundation whose mission is to encourage and reward entrepreneurship, create jobs, and expand economic opportunities. For over six years, the Foundation has been supporting the State’s commercial watermen and aquaculture industry by providing education, training and infrastructure support to expand the state’s emerging aquaculture industry.