New southern Delaware delicacy highlighted at ceremony

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – A new delicacy coming to local restaurants in Sussex County are Inland Bays Oysters. Thanks to a federal grant from the USDA, and help for growers from the state, the christening of this new menu item was made possible Friday.

It’s a new market for Delaware, one that will eventually produce millions of dollars annually in the next five years.

“Current estimates are $300,000-500,000 per year in income, and growing to one to two million dollars per year,” said Kent Messer, a professor of applied economics at University of Delaware.

That means more jobs, and more opportunities for local entrepreneurs who want to get in on the action.

“We’re certainly talking about a growth of jobs for those who are growing it, processing it, and there will be some spill-off as well for local restaurants and others that sell it,” said Messer.

It also has a big impact environmentally.

Chris Redefer planted 150,000 oysters this April, just one of those oysters can filter 20 gallons of water per day.

He says he hopes to have one million oysters by 2020.

“So twenty gallons times a million. So it would be 20 million gallons a day will be filtered just by my acreage,” said Redefer.

There’s time for locals to invest in this, there are over a hundred acres available for farming.

If you are interested you can go to the State of Delaware’s website.

Categories: Delaware, Local News