NORFOLK, VA – August 23, 2023 – Lawson’s award-winning riverfront affordable apartment community, The Retreat at Harbor Pointe is pleased to announce their participation in the Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation oyster gardening project.

Four oyster cages are secured to the boardwalk adjacent to The Retreat. The baby oysters, called spat, will grow in this location until they are adults. The adult oysters will be planted on sanctuary reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and then a new batch of spat will be grown in the cages. The program helps to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay and connected waterways.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the oyster population is a small fraction of what it used to be due to overharvesting, poor water quality, habitat loss, and disease. A healthy oyster reef creates habitat for over 300 species of plants and animals and a single healthy adult oyster can filter up to two gallons of water per hour making them critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

“We’re really excited to be a part of this program.”, said Lawson Director of Marketing, Dan Hankin. “The oyster garden is a great opportunity to make a positive environmental impact and get our residents and team members involved in stewardship of the river.”

The Retreat at Harbor Pointe was recognized as an Elizabeth River Project River Star Business at Achievement Level in 2021. Efforts leading to River Star certification include oyster castles under the boardwalk, elimination of invasive plants, addition of salt-tolerant native reeds and plants, rip-rap to stabilize the shoreline and prevent erosion, and Earthcraft certified energy efficient green buildings.

Lawson Director of Marketing, Dan Hankin checks on a batch of oysters at The Retreat at Harbor Pointe oyster garden.

Lawson Director of Marketing, Dan Hankin checks on a batch of oysters at The Retreat at Harbor Pointe oyster garden.


At Lawson, we understand that what we do – and how we do it – affects the everyday lives of people we care about. For more than 50 years we’ve focused on positively impacting people, from team members and residents to investors and business partners. We manage and own approximately 4,800 apartment units and continue to grow with 1,393 units in development. Our business model provides vertical integration of development, construction, property management and asset management, which enables our team of experts to add value at every stage for our partners. When you act with integrity, focus on quality and work to find creative solutions, great things are possible. It’s how we’ve done business at Lawson since 1972. For more information, please visit


The Elizabeth River Project’s mission is to restore the Elizabeth River to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business, and community partnerships. For more information, please visit


For more than 50 years, Chesapeake Bay Foundation has fought vigilantly for healthy rivers, clean streams, and a saved Chesapeake Bay. For more information, please visit