Third Annual Earth Day 5K in Silver Spring, MD Benefitting The Nature Conservancy

Proceeds from the Earth Day 5K on April 30, 2011 will help restore oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay

BETHESDA, MD | January 18, 2011

Last year 1,200 local runners helped us add over five million spat (baby oysters) to southern Maryland’s Patuxent River, improving habitat for fish, local water quality and helping to rebuild oyster populations in the Bay.

What:  Third annual Earth Day 5K to benefit The Nature Conservancy in Maryland.

Where/When:  Silver Spring, MD April 30th at 8:00AM – to sign up and view race details visit:  

"The Eastern oyster is a key piece of what makes our Chesapeake Bay so special," said Mark Bryer, director of the Chesapeake Bay Program for The Nature Conservancy. "To succeed in restoring the bay we will need an emphasis on restoring and protecting key habitats as well as improving water quality.  Runners on April 30th will help us make great strides, but we have a long way to go before we cross the finish line of restoring the Bay."  If you can’t join us on April 30th you can still support The Nature Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay initiative at

Five fast facts for the 5K:

  • Oyster populations in the Bay are only about 1% of their historic abundance.
  • Small but hard-working oysters filter out tiny algae and organisms and actually clean the water.
  • A century ago Eastern oysters were so abundant they could filter the entire volume of the Bay in less than a week.
  • Oysters build reefs that help stabilize shorelines and create homes for other marine line including striped bass.
  • Oysters are part of a fragile Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that helps contribute $50 billion to the region’s economy.

The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC and Virginia are working to restore the Chesapeake Bay by protecting forests and wetlands that help clean water before it enters the Bay, through innovative partnerships with farmers and watermen and by supporting the work of state and federal agencies with practical solutions.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Contact information

Tom McCann
Associate Director

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