The Phillips Wharf Environmental Center (PWEC) has completed phase one of the Oyster House Project. This is good news for Maryland oyster growers.
The Oyster House Project is a plan that would allow the expansion of the PWEC campus, revive the last dockside shucking house in Talbot County, and re-invigorate a working waterfront. Phase one was to purchase the Oyster House and 2.25 acres on Maryland’s Tilghman Island.
PWEC has been a hands-on education and conservation center in Chesapeake Bay since 2005. When Hurricane Isabel destroyed the last crabbing shanty on Knapps Narrows, Kelley and Jerry Cox were inspired to create an education center. Its programs have continued to grow.
“If you teach people to love something, they will want to save it,” Kelly Cox, executive director at PWEC, said. A native Tilghman resident, waterman’s daughter and marine biologist, Cox understands the importance of a strong relationship between watermen, scientists, educators and the community.
The Oyster House Project is taking PWEC in a bold new direction – economic development. The Project will allow PWEC to initiate an aquaculture resource center where students and residents will learn about the science and business of oyster farming. Watermen will be able to experiment with oyster growing techniques and seafood distributors will have the space and facilities to carry on their business.
PWEC is a private non-profit organization that receives no government funding and relies entirely on grants, donations and memberships to fund its programs. For more information visit their website www.pwec.org.
- Quentin Dodd