North Carolina Sea Grant
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News Releases

September 29, 2022 | Dan DiNicola

Group of people eating oyster while wearing waders in the water

Enjoying N.C. oysters on the half shell in Stump Sound, North Carolina. Photo by Justin Kase Conder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jane Harrison, jane_harrison@ncsu.edu, 919-664-4028

Coinciding with the start of the wild-caught oyster season, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared October 10 through the 16 North Carolina Oyster Week. This year’s “shellebration” will cover a wide range of activities, with many occurring throughout the month. Engage with oyster growers and harvesters, seafood restaurants and retail markets, recreational outfitters, coastal conservation and education organizations, and seafood festivals.

“North Carolina has a valuable and productive coastal ecosystem and many champions who work to protect it. North Carolina oysters, as a keystone species, benefit the state’s marine and coastal environments with food provision, filtering capacity, and fish habitat,” Gov. Cooper’s proclamation states.

In 2019, North Carolina’s shellfish industry provided over $27 million in economic impact and 532 jobs in the state, supporting the livelihoods of N.C. watermen and women and sustaining traditional working waterfront communities.

“Oysters benefit our state in myriad ways,” says Jane Harrison, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal economist. “North Carolina Oyster Week events will highlight the ecology, culture, economy, and history related to this vital resource.”

North Carolina Sea Grant, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources are organizing the NC Oyster Week festivities in partnership with the NC Oyster Trail. Events are listed on the websites of the NC Oyster Trail and NCDNCR.

“From N.C. oyster happy hours to volunteer events on the coast to maintain living shorelines, there is something for everyone during NC Oyster Week,” says Harrison.

North Carolina Oyster Week events will include cultivated and wild-caught oysters alike from new and returning participating organizations and businesses.

Ocean Fest (Oct 7-8) is excited to participate in NC Oyster Week again this year,” says Jan Farmer, Ocean Fest Sustainability & Eco Expo Coordinator. “Restoring, protecting and growing our oyster population plays an essential role in protecting the marine environment we all love. The NC Oyster Trail will have a booth in our Eco Expo with shellfish growers on hand to tell attendees about oyster farming while Ghost Fleet Oyster Company and N. Sea Oyster Co. will serve up BBQ and raw local oysters.”

For more information on North Carolina Oyster Week 2022 and the NC Oyster Trail visit https://ncoystertrail.org/nc-oyster-week/ and read the current issue of North Carolina Sea Grant’s Coastwatch magazine highlighting oyster-related stories from around the state.

List of Events

Wine and Brine

Friday, Sept. 30 | 6 – 8 pm | The NC Seafood Festival, Morehead City

Wine & Brine will take place in the North Carolina Seafood Festival Chef’s Tent on the Morehead City Waterfront. Meet oyster and clam growers while sampling their delicious harvest. Each oyster and clam will be expertly paired with wine from the Chapel Hill Wine Hound and M.F. Chappell Wine Merchant. Seaside Sensations will also be on hand to provide delicious food including shrimp and grits and pork loin. A beer and wine bar will also be available. Purchase tickets on their website.

Oyster Specials All Month Long

Monday, Oct. 1 – Oct. 30 | Coquina Fish Bar, Wilmington

During NC Oyster Week (Oct. 10-16), try our delicious chef created specials highlighting N.C. oysters like our oyster salad or our smoked oyster chowder. Every Sunday in October come in for $1.50 select oysters by the half or full dozen. Enjoy Stump Sound, Rose Bay, or amazing Beaufort Selects! Not an Oyster fan but still want to eat local? Be sure to try our N.C. black ribbed mussels!

Oysters Uncovered

Thursdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27 | 2 – 3:30 pm | N.C. Coastal Federation, Wanchese & Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar, Manteo

Every Thursday during the month of October, the N.C. Coastal Federation will partner with Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar to offer a unique farm to fork experience. As part of this event, you will tour the Federation’s demonstration oyster farm, learning about oysters and how a typical farm works, then retire to Blue Water for a sampling of a half dozen North Carolina oysters and Blue Water’s signature oyster shooter. Additional food and beverages are available for purchase, but are not included in the $50 event ticket. Purchase tickets on their website.

$2 Tackle Box Lures: Local N.C. Oysters

Tuesdays – Saturdays, Oct. 4-29 | Catch Restaurant, Wilmington

Enjoy our signature “Tackle Box Lures” – N.C. oysters prepared specially by award winning Chef Keith Rhodes. Oysters are $2 each Tuesday through Saturday during regular business hours.

Oyster Reef Restoration

Friday, Oct. 7 | 11 am – 3 pm | Public Creek Access, Bald Head Island

Join Bald Head Island Conservancy staff at the Village Creek Access on North Bald Head Wynd to help build oyster reefs in Bald Head Creek from bagged shells. Please wear closed-toe shoes (SCUBA booties or old sneakers are best) and bring or wear protective gloves if you have them. We will need bag movers, kayakers, and people who don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Volunteers must already be on BHI or have their own transportation to/from the island and the creek access. Sign up online using the Event page.

Intracoastal Realty Annual Oyster Roast

Friday, Oct. 7 | 5 – 8 pm | Carolina Yacht Club, Wrightsville Beach

Awwww Shucks Ya’ll. You know it’s about to be fall on the coast when you get your first invitation to an oyster roast. And here it is…Intracoastal Realty will host an oyster roast benefitting the Wrightsville Beach Museum of History. Enjoy oysters from Middle Sound Mariculture Oyster Company and Musser’s famous fried chicken buffet. Live music + cash Bar. Tickets are available only in advance online and all proceeds benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum.

$2 Oyster Special at Locals Seafood

Wednesdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28 | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Locals Seafood, Durham Food Hall

Join Locals Seafood every Wednesday for $2 oysters on the half shell at our Durham restaurant! Locals serves N.C. oysters year-round, alongside a menu of cooked seafood dishes.

Locals Seafood Pop-Up

Fridays, Oct. 7 and 21 | 5 – 8 p.m. | Raleigh Wine Shop, Raleigh

Join Locals Seafood for a dinner pop-up at Raleigh Wine Shop the first and third Friday of October! Locals serves N.C. oysters year-round, alongside a menu of cooked seafood dishes.

Eco Expo at Ocean Fest

Saturday, Oct. 8 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Downtown Surf City/Roland Ave. Access

Learn about ways to better protect Mother Ocean and meet nonprofits doing great work for our marine environment. Visit the NC Oyster Trail booth to meet oyster growers and play NC Oyster trivia. You can win some fun oyster swag and get educated on environmental initiatives happening across our coast. Great event for families and kids!

Oyster BBQ at Ocean Fest

Saturday, Oct. 8 | 12 – 8 p.m. | Downtown Surf City/Roland Ave. Access

Ghost Fleet Oyster Co is teaming up with Berserkr BBQ food truck to cook up some tasty BBQ oysters at Ocean Fest in Surf City. Come celebrate the ocean and NC Oyster Week with us at Ocean Fest October 8!

UNCW’s Center for Marine Science Open House

Saturday, Oct. 8 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | UNC Wilmington

UNCWs Center for Marine Science is a world-class leader in marine and coastal research, especially in areas of marine technology, coastal sustainability, natural products discovery, aquaculture and living resources, and coastal hazards and flooding. Join us for self-guided tours, as well as tours of the Shellfish Research Hatchery Tours with our oyster experts.

Bivalves & Brews

Sunday, Oct. 9 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Wrightsville Beach Brewery

Join this family-friendly “shellebration” at Wrightsville Beach Brewery in Wilmington, where Bald Head Island Conservancy Chief Scientist Beth Darrow will give a presentation about oysters while we enjoy bivalves and brews.The presentation is free; food and drink are available for purchase. Please RSVP by emailing marketing@bhic.org. You can also simply show up!

NC Oyster Week: Volunteer Event at Morris Landing

Monday, Oct. 10 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Holly Ridge

Volunteer with the N.C. Coastal Federation at Morris Landing Clean Water Preserve to kick off NC Oyster Week while celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Archaeologists have now found that the ancient harvesting practices of Native Americans likely promoted the health of oyster reefs for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. The results of these findings could help inform today’s efforts to restore habitats and sustainably harvest oysters. Join us for this special event to dive deeper into the history and culture of local native tribes and their relationship with oysters while actively working to protect and restore Stump Sound oyster populations.

Oyster Specials All Week Long

Monday, Oct. 10 – Sunday, Oct. 16 | Wrightsville Beach Brewery

We’ll be offering a half dozen oysters on the half shell from Middlesound Mariculture and N. Sea Oyster Co. for $15 all week long! We’ve also got live music with David Dixon on Thursday 10/13 from 6-9pm, and Mac & Juice Duo Saturday 10/15 from 3-6pm.

Oyster Farming 101

Monday, Oct. 10 | 2 – 4 p.m. | Carolina Beach State Park Visitor Center

Come learn about oyster farming in NC and how this important industry has a positive impact on environment as well as providing a wonderful addition to the culinary seafood industry. Learn about oyster grow-out from seed to shuck and the daily activities of oyster farmer Mandy Uticone to grow the best oysters!

Oyster Happy Hour at Seabird

Monday, Oct. 10 & Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 13-16 | 5 – 6 p.m. | Seabird, Wilmington

$1 shucked oysters always from North Carolina! Be sure to try the “Seabirdies,” an exclusive from Hold Fast Oyster Company.

$1.50 Oyster Happy Hour

Monday, Oct. 10 – Friday, Oct. 14 | 2 – 6 p.m. | Sea Level NC, Charlotte

Join Sea Level NC for $1.50 house oysters: Sea Level Salts from Morris Family Shellfish Farm in Sea Level, NC. No minimums, no limits, dine in only.

N.C. Buck-a-Shuck Happy Hour

Monday, Oct. 10 – Thursday, Oct. 13 | 4 – 6 p.m. | Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar, Manteo

As a proud member of the North Carolina Oyster Trail, Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar will celebrate NC Oyster Week October 10, 2022 – October 13, 2022 with $1 select N.C. oysters from 4 – 6 PM. Our favorite oyster shooter will also feature a N.C. oyster. Enjoy the views and stay for dinner! Reservations can be made online at www.BlueWaterGrillOBX.com or by calling us at 252.473.1955.

½ Price Oysters

Tuesday, Oct. 11 – Thursday, Oct. 13 | 5 – 9 p.m. | three10, Wilmington

Join us at three10 restaurant in downtown Wilmington, NC for half-price raw & broiled oysters on October 11-13, from 5 PM-9 PM to celebrate National Oyster Week. No limits, dine-in only.

NC Oyster Happy Hour at Mandolin

Tuesday – Thursday, Oct. 11 – 13 | 5:30 – 6:30 pm | Mandolin, Raleigh

Mandolin is known for its hyper seasonal menu and delicious N.C. seafood. Local oysters are $1.50 each during happy hour.

Grits with NC Oyster Gravy at Saltbox

Tuesday – Saturday, Oct. 11 – 15 | 11 am – 8 pm | Saltbox Seafood Joint, Durham

Drawing inspiration from classic American fish camps and waterside seafood shacks, Saltbox celebrates local, fresh seafood. Get a taste of Chef Ricky Moore’s take on NC Oyster Week with his grits and oyster gravy, a special available all week long!

New River Oyster Highway Open House

Thursday, Oct. 13 | 1 – 5 p.m. | Sturgeon City Education Center, Sturgeon City

The New River Estuary Oyster Highway is a chain of 13 one-acre oyster reefs from Wilson Bay to Stones Bay in the New River. Visit Sturgeon City Education Center to go on a self-paced walking tour and observe the oyster reefs from the observation deck. Educational displays and oyster experts galore will be at this event, ready to share the importance of our coastal habitat to oysters, and the science behind wild oyster reef restoration. A food truck will keep you from getting hungry!

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Saturday, Oct. 15 | 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Nags Head

The Outer Banks Seafood Festival provides a fun educational experience promoting, honoring, and celebrating coastal seafood heritage and community. Visit the NC Oyster Trail table to learn more about the Trail and take home some fun oyster swag!

Oysters on the Mountain

Sunday, Oct. 23 | 12 – 4 p.m. | Native Prime Provisions, Cashiers

An Oyster-Palooza in Western North Carolina!! Live jazz with Tyler Kittle and a parking lot party with fresh shucked N.C. oysters. Oysters will also be grilled with many amazing preparations. Enjoy special paired oyster & wine tastings as well as local mountain craft beers.

Oyster Roast

Sunday, Oct. 30 | 12 – 5 p.m. | Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar, Manteo

Save the date! We will hold our 4th Annual Oyster Roast on the docks at Mimi’s Tiki Hut. We will close down the Hut with this All-You-Can-Eat event which will feature shucked N.C. oysters served raw or fire-roasted, great drink specials and our full menu will be available. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door.

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