Volunteer Oyster Gardening


*Please note that all of the oysters produced through GBF’s oyster gardening efforts are strictly for restoration purposes and are NOT for consumption.

How does it work?How to volunteerVolunteer resources
Galveston Bay Foundation  partners with Bayfront property owners to give baby oysters a “head-start” through the Volunteer Oyster Gardening program. Oyster gardeners (aka oyster foster parents) work with GBF staff every spring to create small mesh bags full of recycled oyster shells. These bags, or oyster gardens, are suspended from piers and docks and submerged in the bay, in hopes of attracting new oyster larvae during the spawning season. Volunteers monitor and care for the oyster gardens throughout the summer to ensure successful growth of the baby oysters (aka spat). In the fall, GBF staff collect all of the oyster gardens and spread the shells and spat on nearby restoration reefs to enhance the local oyster populations.

Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers and partners!
San Leon   ♦   Kemah   ♦   Bayou Vista   ♦   Tiki Island  ♦  Galveston Island
TX Corinthian Yacht Club   ♦   Sea Scout Base Galveston   ♦   Jamaica Beach   ♦  TX Parks and Wildlife

For additional information please contact Michael Niebuhr (281) 332-3381 x 225

Oyster garden creation
Garden installation
Maintenance and monitoring
Spat transplant

Do you…

  • Own or have access to property on Galveston Bay, West Bay, or Trinity Bay?
  • Own or have access to an accessible pier or dock that extends into the Bay?
  • Have the ability to commit 1-2 hours per week to monitor and maintain oyster gardens?
  • Have the ability to lift 10 pounds?
    (each oyster garden weighs approximately 5 lbs. but may become heavier the longer it is in the water)

If you answered YES to all of the above, and want more information about oyster gardening before committing to becoming a Volunteer Oyster Gardener, please fill out this information request form. Once your form is submitted online, you will be contacted directly by the GBF Oyster Team staff.

Oyster Gardening Information Request


Galveston Bay Foundation Membership

You decided to become an oyster gardener. Now what?

GBF will provide:
Recycled oyster shells
Material to create oyster gardens
Rope to hang oyster gardens from your pier or dock

You provide:
A bayfront location with a pier or dock suitable for hanging oyster gardens
A commitment of regular monitoring and maintenance of the oyster gardens

Stay tuned to your email for event dates and important information!

Registration form
Gardening timeline
Spat identification


NOTE: ALL oysters produced in GBF’s oyster gardening program are strictly for restoration purposes and are NOT for consumption.