Oysters have been a popular rallying point in efforts to clean up Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary. With more than 438 acres of restored oyster reef, Virginia's Piankatank River is home to the world's largest completed oyster restoration project. The 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement aims to restore native oyster habitat in 10 bay tributaries by 2025, and Virginia and Maryland each are restoring half the tributaries. The Piankatank, which once supported some 7,000 acres of oyster reef, is a 'trap estuary' whose unique water circulation pattern keeps nutrients and larvae where they are deposited.

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