Three women stand around a narrow, raised table. A long thin roll of burlap coated in concrete is in the middle of the table. The table is in an open sided outdoor workshop.
Making New Substrate Teachers try their hands at creating new oyster reef substrate. The substrate will be used in a NFWF funded marsh protection project near the village of Wachapreague. Aug 2020 © Margaret Van Clief / TNC

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Building Oyster Substrate


Help build substrate that will be used to build functional oyster habitat capable of keeping up with sea level rise. 4 volunteers are needed each day to mix concrete and roll burlap through the concrete. This is labor intensive work that requires volunteers to spend hours bending over and lifting 10-15 lbs.

Wear old clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. The work will take place at the Brownsville Shop near the office in Nassawadox.

  • March 2 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm
  • March 4 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm
  • March 18 from 12:30-3:30 pm
  • April 6 from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm  
  • April 15 from 12:00 - 3:00 pm  

To sign up, contact Jen Dalke, volunteer program manager, at, 540-335-1302 (c). Volunteers must read and sign our COVID field guidelines and health screening questions. Guidelines include having a mask readily accessible if working less than 6' apart, bringing hand sanitizer and confirming you have health insurance.