Shellebrate NC Oyster Month in October

“Shellebrate” North Carolina Oyster Month all October long with a wide range of activities spanning our state. Connect with local oyster growers and harvesters, enjoy seafood restaurants, markets, and festivals, and support coastal conservation and education organizations as we kick off the start of the wild-caught oyster season.

As a keystone species, oysters are crucial to North Carolina’s marine and coastal environments. They provide food and shelter for a variety of other animals, reduce shoreline erosion by buffering waves, filter water, and bolster a thriving shellfish industry.

“Oysters benefit our state in myriad ways,” says Jane Harrison, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal economist. “North Carolina Oyster Month 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 Month festivities in partnership with the NC Oyster Trail. Events are listed on the  NC Oyster Trail  and  NCDNCR  websites.

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

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

“Oysterberfest is always one of our favorite events of the year,” says Jud Watkins, owner, brewer, and head oyster shucker at Wrightsville Beach Brewery. He adds, “Not only is it one of our most popular events, bringing out hundreds of people, it’s also a great opportunity for the community to learn about hyper-local North Carolina oysters.”

Partners are eager to share critical information. “Delicious oysters depend on clean water and stormwater runoff is the number one cause of shellfish harvesting closures,” says Bonnie Mitchell, the coastal education coordinator for NC Coastal Federation. 

“The NC Coastal Federation is partnering up with NC Sea Grant and DREAMS Center of Arts Education to create a secret garden in Wilmington with native plants, shrubs, and vines that will help capture, absorb, and filter stormwater runoff. We want to protect our precious estuaries and the oysters that live within,” Mitchell adds. 

For more information on North Carolina Oyster Month 2023 and the NC Oyster Trail visit  and read oyster-related stories from around the state in North Carolina Sea Grant’s  Coastwatch  magazine.