Also, last fall, we (brothers and I) assembled and delivered a couple of oyster floats to the folks that own that property. The oyster larvae have been living in the float all winter, and still measure less than 1cm long. We hope to harvest about half of the oysters, and plant the other half on the existing oyster bar right down the cove. Oysters are not doing well in the Chesapeake Bay - living oyster beds (like a living reef) are at about 1% of their historic extent. Not good! If you have a boat dock (and live on suitable salt water, and can get a permit, etc etc) and are interested in helping the oysters out (you have to set them all free when they grow up), you can get an oyster float for free (or almost free) through local watershed groups, and sometimes even get a tax write-off for installing oyster floats! If you're like us, and you'd like to taste at least a few of the little guys after they're all growns up, you can purchase an oyster float from folks like Atlantic Aquaculture in RI.......http://www.atlanticaquaculture.com/ . The floats (trade name: "Taylor Floats" - named after Taylor's Hardware in Virginia Beach!) sell for anywhere from $60 to $120 a piece. We made our own from supplies from a Marine Supply wholesaler (bought at cost) and the Home Despot, because we were SURE we could make them for less than $50 each. We were wrong. The cost of 6" PVC drove the price through the roof. Final price: about $52 each and a lot of PVC primer inhaled.
Technical note: you do NOT want a full size float (6' x 2') unless you have an electric winch on your dock. Half-size (3' x 2') floats are the way to go!
Got enough information to get started? Great! Check out this link of folks doing the REAL thing with oysters http://www.oyster.unh.edu/other%20restoration.html ...very cool....but remember, the key to oyster survival is improved water quality...not just more oysters!