Two end-of-summer events raised $40,789 for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

The center held its 10th annual Decked Out event Aug. 3, which raised $20,789 to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s three inland bays. Guests enjoyed light fare from local restaurants, slurped oysters at an oyster bar and enjoyed mixed drinks as they mingled and bid on auction items.

Golfer’s teed off for the bays at the 20th annual Tidewater Utilities Charity Golf Tournament, held Aug .14 at Heritage Shores Golf Course in Bridgeville. Money raised was earmarked to enhance and expand the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program and Oyster Shell Recycling Program.

The Oyster Gardening program is a restoration project that employs waterfront property owners to raise small amounts of oysters in the waters that surround their docks and bulkheads. Not safe for human consumption, these oysters are used to improve water quality, protect young oysters and create habitat for other marine species, which are the base of the food chain for fish, crabs and other species.

The CIB’s Oyster Recycling Program, Don’t Chuck Your Shucks, is a partnership between the CIB, the Nature Conservancy in Delaware and 21 local restaurants which collects discarded oyster shell for use in restoration projects in the Inland Bays. These projects include providing stabilization in Living Shorelines and creating a base on which to grow baby oyster spat in the CIB’s Oyster Gardening Program.

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