On the evening of September 11th, 2014, the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire (CCANH) hosted their fourth annual Piscataqua Oysterpalooza fundraiser. Only $5 secured your admission to the event and an extreme discount on delicious oysters served on the half shell.
All the shells from the Oysterpalooza are collected and dried for about six months before ending up in Great Bay to create new beds. Oysters are a key species in the Piscataqua region, providing much needed filtration for optimal water quality in order to promote healthy eelgrass beds and essential fish habitat.
On the night of the event, more than 200 people showed their support of CCANH by visiting the Redhook patio for an evening of music, libations from Redhook Brewery, and of course, oysters! After a brief downpour, the skies cleared and gave way to a gorgeous evening. The local band, Bowtie Bandits, set the scene with upbeat classic folk covers, and the sound of thousands of oysters being shucked could be heard in the background. The oysters provided came from three Great and Little Bay sources, Cedar Point Shellfish, Goat Island Oyster Company and Virgin Oyster Company, with Seaport Fish featuring oysters from Standish Shore in Duxbury, MA, Pemaquids from Maine and Beau Soliels from New Brunswick.
The highlight of the evening was the NH Oyster Shucking Championship. Twelve contestants stepped up to the plate to shuck a dozen oysters as fast and cleanly as they could. Congratulations to Mamadou Diallo of the Union Oyster House in Boston who was victorious for the second consecutive year! He finished fourth in the National Competition last year and will have the opportunity to compete in National Competition once again this October in Maryland. Overall, CCANH raised $800 for the Oyster Shell Recycling Project. These funds will go toward the continual repopulation of oysters in the Great Bay area. This year, the area of restoration has increased by five acres, with projected reestablishment numbers reaching one million. CCANH would like to thank L.L. Bean, Kittery Trading Post, Rising Tide Anglers, Robert’s Maine Grill, and Newick’s of Dover for their generous donations to this year's auction. They would also like to thank Redhook Brewery and all the amazing people who came out to make this event a huge success.
Click here to see a video of the event.