From left, fourth graders Riley Cook, Hailey Leonard and Katelyn Codner fill a bag of oyster shells using a device they created during an oyster shell bagging competition at Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster, June 2, 2016.
From left, fourth graders Riley Cook, Hailey Leonard and Katelyn Codner fill a bag of oyster shells using a device they created during an oyster shell bagging competition at Cranberry Station Elementary School in Westminster, June 2, 2016. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

In an effort to raise funds for their education programs, habitat restoration projects, and advocacy work in Maryland, the Coastal Conservation Association Maryland will host a Pigs & Prawns Dinner & Benefit Saturday, April 7. The benefit will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Carroll County Agriculture Center's Shipley Arena.

“The members I have worked with are genuinely dedicated to the Bay and to helping teach and create ways to help improve and restore our Bay’s health and beauty for future generations,” said Kathy Rollings, a teacher at Cranberry Station Elementary whose class designed oyster bagging devices for the CCA. “Many members have gone out of their way to help us, teach us, show us, and they have given their time, energy, knowledge and resources to make it all happen for our students.”

Advertisement

According to CCA’s website, the organization’s purpose is to advise and educate the public on the conservation of marine resources. CCA’s objective is to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

CCA member Marty Hackett expects the benefit to be a wonderful evening.

“We’ll have great camaraderie, great food and lots of giveaways,” Hackett said.

Rollings said CCA wanted to get involved with Carroll County schools to “reach as many kids and parents as possible to help the upcoming generations to understand the impacts we have on the Bay.”

“CCA wants everyone to know about the state the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and its multitude of diverse organisms, with a special focus on the declining oyster population,” Rollings said.

Rollings said CCA was already involved in making reef balls across the county and they knew fourth graders studied Water Quality in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) so they helped to design a STEM Challenge in which students designed oyster bagging devices.

“Working through the Oyster Bagging Device STEM Design Challenge, students and parents learned so much about oysters and the important role they play to keep the Bay clean,” Rollings said. “And all of our STEM-gineers were so proud, feeling that with their designs, they were making a real difference in helping the Bay’s ecosystem.”

Kent Martin, Lehigh Cement’s plant manager in Union Bridge, lauds CCA’s commitment to working with students and helping people understand they can make a difference in contributing to the health of the Chesapeake.

He said Lehigh has historically supported the local schools including the Carroll County Career and Technology Center by providing cement to the masonry program and the Tech center connected with CCA to build the first reef balls.

As the program grew to other local schools, Lehigh continued to support the endeavor and found it a great way to support the community.

“CCA has impressed us with their focus at our local schools and community,” Martin said.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement