RICHMOND (AP) - Virginia is connecting travelers to the state's popular oyster industry with the creation of the Virginia Oyster Trail.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the new tourism project on Tuesday at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.
The trail links visitors with Virginia oyster purveyors, and restaurants, raw bars and the long-standing watermen culture throughout the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Officials say Virginia's seven different oyster regions produce wild-caught and farm-raised oysters. The industry dates back to the founding of Jamestown in 1607.
Last year, Virginia's oyster harvest reached the highest level since 1987, increasing 25 percent to more than 500,000 bushels and a dockside value of more than $22 million.
Just 12 years ago, Virginia's oyster harvest was only about 23,000 bushels.