We love oysters. These water-filtering, reef-building bivalves can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day as an adult (check out the video above!).
Despite at one point falling to one percent of historical levels, oysters are making a comeback. This comeback however, is not without obstacles. Recently, Governor Hogan's administration asked the Army Corps of Engineers to delay its oyster restoration project on the Tred Avon River.
Reportedly, at the request of certain watermen, the Hogan Administration wants to wait for the results of a pending study before deciding if oyster restoration will moved forward. This action could delay one of the biggest restoration projects in the state for more than a year. We know the Hogan Administration wants to help commercial oyster harvesters. So do we. But based on available science, we firmly believe that restoration efforts are improving wild oyster production and harvest, and these efforts should not stop.
This Week in the Watershed: Oyster Delay, Clean Water Funding, and Sick Fish
- Kudos to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for proposing major investments in clean water measures, such as fencing livestock out of streams, upgrading water treatment plants, and boosting the state's commercial oyster harvest. (Daily Press—VA)
- Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has received a funding increase for the first time in seven years. The increase is not as much as Governor Wolf was hoping for, however. (Central Pennsylvania Business Journal—PA)
- Representatives from all nine Maryland Eastern Shore counties have developed an action plan to restore their local rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. (Kent County News—MD)
- CBF's Director of Fisheries Bill Goldsborough, weighs in on the importance of menhaden in this article. (Bay Journal)
- Smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River are suffering from poor water quality, primarily from hormone-altering compounds and herbicides. (Bay Journal)
- On December 24, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, under direction from the Hogan Administration, asked the Army Corps of Engineers to delay their oyster restoration project on Tred Avon River. (Baltimore Sun—MD) Bonus: CBF Statement.
- Virginia's Legislative Session starts next week! There are several programs we're asking legislators to support in the the 2016 Virginia General Assembly to clean Virginia's rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
What's Happening Around the Watershed?
- College Park, MD: Join Future Harvest CASA for their 17th annual Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed conference. One of the region's largest farm and food gatherings, you'll be able to experience seven different conference tracks, interact with other farmers and food lovers, and enjoy local fare. Click here to register!
January 16-February 6
- Across Virginia: Help restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's rivers by participating in CBF's Grasses for the Masses program. Participants grow wild celery, a type of underwater grass, in their homes for 10-12 weeks. After 10-12 weeks of growing, participants will gather to plant their grasses in select local rivers to bolster grass populations and help restore the Bay. Workshops are being held throughout Virginia. Click here to find one near you!
—Drew Robinson, CBF's Digital Media Associate