We invite you to join us in our mission to protect, support and sustainably harvest the organisms that call this region home. 

Oyster Conservation - Ellery Kellum Rock

Oysters are especially critical to this region because of their extensive presence in dining and their powerful impact on water cleanliness. As part of our oyster shell recycling program, all shells used for consumption are cleaned and returned to the private reef in the center of Carter's Creek. Turning Carter's Creek into an oyster sanctuary is the best way we can protect and ensure the proliferation of oysters in this area. These oysters will never be harvested and upon reaching maturity, they will have their spawn flushed from the creek to repopulate working reefs in the Rappahannock River. 

This summer we will be hosting a variety of activities so that guests can get involved with the preservation of these reefs. Guests will have the opportunity to learn about and assist with the spatting, recycling and distribution of shells to reefs. We  will also host Oyster Academy sessions where we can educate guests about the life of the oyster and their important role in creating a sustainably clean bay.

Tides Inn is also thrilled to announce the opening of Ellery Kellum Rock - Carter Creek’s new Oyster Sanctuary. A dedication ceremony for the reef was held on June 15th, 2017; the reef was named in honor of Ellery Kellum, the founder of Kellum Seafood; which donated the reef lease to the Friends of Rappahannock. Currently, there are about 1,500 bushels of shells on the reef and experts expect that number to continue to grow. The Ellery Kellum Rock oysters will not be harvested, since they are essential in the improvement of local water quality and nearby reef growth