The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) and commercial fishermen are partnering on oyster bar rehabilitation projects in the Chesapeake Bay. The program is a part a Maryland plan to help mitigate the economic impact of blue crab harvest restrictions, while also helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay.
The program utilizes the skills, experience and equipment of Chesapeake Bay watermen to increase the amount of viable oyster bar habitat in the estuary. The rehabilitated oyster bars will create habitat for a natural spat set and/or hatchery seed plantings in both sanctuaries and public shellfish fishery areas. The program also provides watermen with income for helping with oyster restoration.
Over 750 Maryland commercial fishermen will restore 23 oyster bars in the Chesapeake Bay, reclaiming more than 1,000 acres of buried oyster shell.
Several oyster bars slated for rehabilitation are located within sanctuary areas, including Harris Creek, Eastern Bay, and the Little Choptank, Nanticoke and Manokin Rivers.
source: MD DNR