The Drakes Bay Oyster Farm caters to local residents and restaurants. But unless its lease is renewed, its days are numbered. Richard Gonzales/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Gonzales/NPR

Lunch with oysters and wine by Frans van Mieris, 1635-1681. Universal Images Group/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Universal Images Group/UIG via Getty Images

A plate of Sweet Jesus oysters grown in Chesapeake Bay by Hollywood Oyster Co. in Hollywood, Md. Katy Adams/Courtesy Clyde's Restaurant Group hide caption

itoggle caption Katy Adams/Courtesy Clyde's Restaurant Group

Young oysters live on old oyster shells and slowly mature while forming a complete shell. Astrid Riecken/Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Astrid Riecken/Washington Post/Getty Images

Scientists blame higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster seeds to thrive in hatcheries. Eric Risberg/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Risberg/AP

Serve this for T-Day, and you'll be in sync with history. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com