After going to the Living Classroom field trip and reading the November Bay Journal, students in my fifth grade class decided individually what they thought about the article, “Expanded use of nonnative oyster seems likely in Bay.” I thought you would like to read them.

Patricia Brown
Warren Elementary
Cockeysville, MD

Editors Note: Here are excerpts from some of the students’ reports. Space does not permit us to print them all. Of the 36 students, 24 were against the introduction of the ariakensis oyster and 12 wrote in its favor.

I think that we should not introduce the oyster. I think that because the oysters can bring undetected viruses, diseases and pathogens to the Bay, which would affect all of the healthy native oysters and other Bay creatures. Also, if the native and nonnative oysters spawn at the same time, we may get oysters that cannot reproduce. … Also, the nonnative oysters may compete with the native oysters for available homes. Another reason we should not introduce this new oyster is it might eat all of the plankton that the native oyster eats and neither species would have enough to eat.
— Kristen Acree

I think nonnative oysters should be introduced. If more oysters are in the Bay, then more water would be filtered. These oysters have been proven more resistant to diseases that native oysters have been dying from, causing the new oysters to thrive in the Bay. That would help the watermen, because they would harvest more oysters so they could get more money. Also, tests have proven that people can’t tell the difference in taste. Last, but not least, if nonnative oysters were introduced, then they would reduce the pressure on native oysters, so they could rebuild their population.
— Natalie Arnott

I think we should not add the nonnative oyster. This is so important to us because what if we add the new oyster and the native oyster dies out?…Maybe we can put a native and a nonnative oyster in a tank and see how they react so we have an idea of what will happen if we add the nonnative oyster. That’s what I think we should do.
— Jessica Roberts

I think that the nonnative oysters should be introduced. There would be more oysters to eat…We could eat only the new oysters until the native oysters come back.
—Joe Trotta

We should not introduce the foreign oysters…Overall, we are just wasting our time, because when the public tried to introduce Gigas to the Chesapeake, it failed. Basically, we’d just be doing it all over again.
— Jamie Englert

I do not think we should introduce more oysters in the Chesapeake Bay because they might have a disease that will make the other oysters sick.
— Corey Hancock

I think we should introduce the nonnative oyster…If we run out of oysters, all of our watermen could lose their jobs because they couldn’t fish. If that happened, all of the businessmen would lose their jobs because they couldn’t sell fish. Then, all of the environmentalists would lose their jobs because they couldn’t research the oysters (because they weren’t there anymore) and also because they couldn’t study/look out for problems in or for the oysters.
— Emily Matthews

I believe we should not introduce foreign oysters…they could have problems living in the Bay with other animals and the new environment.
— David Roberts

I think that nonnative oysters should be introduced…I read that oysters help to filter the water. Think how clean the water would be if there were twice as many oysters in the Bay.
— Tricia Webster