August 5, 2021
From a grain of sand to an oyster in your hand.
I started working at Quahog Bay Conservancy (QBC) for the Scanlan’s in 2014. I discovered Snow Island and the conservancy after retiring from 30 dedicated years in the Coast Guard. Quahog Bay captures the rough, authentic charm of Mid Coast Maine.
At the beginning, there were just two of us. Now there are 8 people on staff full time, and 3 interns.
The diversity of my job is, I think, what makes me love it so much. It’s not just the oyster farm, it’s the conservancy and the care-taker parts of the job too. In recent decades, pollution, neglect, and a changing climate have introduced new threats to our delicate seascape. QBC is tackling these critical issues head-on in an effort to support the ecosystem and the families that depend on it.
Our team and interns work to maintain a sustainable oyster aquaculture, ecosystem monitoring, and community education.
Growing oysters is a delicate process. A hatchery grows the larvae. In about three weeks, the larvae go through what is known as settlement, the process by which a larva fuses itself to a tiny fragment of oyster shell. At this point, the tiny oyster is only 1.5 to 2 mm and is called a seed.
I’ll let the interns take you through the journey of Snow Island in the next post…
- Pete Valente, Field Supervisor at QBC