Crassostrea virginica, the eastern oyster.
These humble bivalves are the living bones of the Chesapeake and the ecological and historical lifeblood of the region. When colonists first sailed these impossibly abundant shores, they described massive shoals of foot-long oysters. But the bottomless appetite of the Gilded Age and great fleets of skipjacks took their toll. Disease, environmental pressures and overconsumption decimated the population by the end of the twentieth century.
With careful research and interviews with experts, author Kate Livie presents a dynamic story of the eastern oyster and a glimpse of what the future may hold in Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay's Foundation and Future.