CMA CGM partners with Chesapeake Bay Foundation to restore 5.5 million oysters

Chesapeake Bay Oyster Alliance

  • 5.5 million juvenile oysters to be planted on newly constructed reefs to preserve water quality and biodiversity
  • 50 CMA CGM volunteers gathered today to build approximately 75 oyster cages designed for sanctuary reef restoration
  • Through this operation, the CMA CGM Group reasserts its commitment to the preservation of biodiversity

NORFOLK, VA, October 8, 2021—The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, is partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the largest independent conservation organization dedicated to saving the Chesapeake Bay, to join the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance.

CMA CGM will support the planting of 5.5 million juvenile oysters in the Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Oyster Alliance is a broad coalition of over 75 partner organizations in Maryland and Virginia working towards adding 10 billion new oysters to the Bay by 2025. With this partnership, CMA CGM commits to supporting the planting of 5.5 million juvenile oysters.

This project will support the preservation of water quality and biodiversity in the Chesapeake Bay

Oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay have plummeted to a tiny fraction of their historic levels due to pollution, overharvesting and disease. Oysters provide critical purification of the Chesapeake Bay by filtering water as they feed. One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day. Oyster reefs also provide habitat to more than 300 species, help stabilize shorelines and support surrounding economies.

CMA CGM volunteers gathered to build oyster cages for reef restoration

After today’s announcement, CMA CGM staff members constructed the future homes of 100,000 juvenile oysters that will be tended by volunteers in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster gardening program. These gardeners will raise the oysters in cages hung from docks. Once a year has passed, the oysters will be placed on a restored reef protected from harvest.

This project highlights the Group’s commitment to protecting the environment and biodiversity

Protecting the environment and biodiversity is at the heart of the strategic vision adopted by the CMA CGM Group under the leadership of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rodolphe Saadé. The CMA CGM Group’s new signature, BETTER WAYS, reflects this commitment to more responsible and efficient logistics and transportation solutions. The Group is taking concrete and pioneering measures to protect biodiversity around the world, including in North America:

  • In 2019, Rodolphe Saadé made a commitment that none of the Group’s vessels would use the Northern Sea Route in order to protect the Arctic’s fragile ecosystems.
  • In 2020, the CMA CGM Group launched Reef Recovery, a vast regeneration program for coral reefs with an initial project on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. The program was extended recently to the Philippines and Malaysia (the Coral Triangle) and will continue to be expanded to other areas of the world
  • On the East/West coast of the United States and Canada,CMA CGM’s ships bring their speed down to 10 knots when passing through breeding grounds for whales and marine mammals to avoid the risk of collision, both on a regulatory and on a voluntary basis. The Group has been awarded by the port of Long Beach for reducing the speed of its container vessels with a compliance rate of close to 100%.
  • CMA CGM also uses REPCET, a collaborative system based on the density of the network created by navigation which allows ships to receive and transmit real-time alerts about the positions of whales. The system can be used where collisions are a recognized problem including, for example, in the North Atlantic.

Heather Wood, CMA CGM’s Director of Sustainability for North America, said, “CMA CGM is proud to play a role in this important initiative to help restore the ecosystem and biodiversity of the largest estuary in the U.S. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is doing incredible work in conservation, and we are fully mobilized to help them reach their goal of planting 10 billion oysters in the Bay by 2025. This operation also highlights the commitment of the CMA CGM Group and its staff members to protect biodiversity.”

Tanner Council, CBF Chesapeake Oyster Alliance Manager,said, “We’re thrilled to have CMA CGM join the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance’s diverse coalition of conservation organizations, oyster growers, research institutions, and other groups working to add 10 billion new oysters to the Bay by 2025. As a member of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance’s Reef Builders, CMA CGM is a vital partner in efforts to bring back oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.”


Led by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group, a global leader in shipping and logistics, serves more than 420 ports around the world on five continents. Backed by a fleet of 542 vessels, in 2020 the Group transported nearly 21 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) containers. With its subsidiary CEVA Logistics, a world leader in logistics, which transports 400,000 tons of air freight and 2.8 million tons of land freight each year, and its air freight division CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the CMA CGM Group is continually innovating to offer its customers a complete and increasingly efficient range of new shipping, land, air and logistics solutions.

Committed to the energy transition in shipping, and a pioneer in the use of alternative fuels, the CMA CGM Group has set a target of carbon neutrality by 2050. An approach involving ongoing improvement which brings concrete results, with a decrease of 4% in the total CO₂ emissions of the Group in 2020.

Through the CMA CGM Foundation, every year the Group helps thousands of children through its actions to promote education for all and equal opportunity. The CMA CGM Foundation also acts in humanitarian crises that require an emergency response by mobilizing the Group’s shipping and logistics expertise to bring humanitarian supplies around the world.

Present in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses, the Group employs more than 110,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in Marseilles where its head office is located. In the United States, CMA CGM Group, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Va., employs more than 12,000 people. Its subsidiary, American President Lines (APL), operates a fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels and supports U.S. territories and American military stationed around the world. Learn more at cmacgm-group.com.

About Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay. Serving as a watchdog, we fight for effective, science-based solutions to the pollution degrading the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. Our motto, "Save the Bay," is a regional rallying cry for pollution reduction throughout the Chesapeake's six-state, 64,000-square-mile watershed, which is home to more than 18 million people and 3,000 species of plants and animals. With offices in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia and 15 field centers, CBF leads the way in restoring the Bay and its rivers and streams.

Press contact:

Amber Leonard