The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced that the agency seeks to establish an economically-productive and sustainable oyster harvesting cooperative in Anne Arundel County.
According to DNR, the comprehensive private-public partnership will enhance the long-term business and economic viability of watermen while addressing oyster restoration and water quality goals.
The partnership hopes to provide a community of watermen with supplemental income harvesting oysters while providing environmental benefits to the bay. Oyster aquaculture is considered a best management practice for nutrient reduction in the Chesapeake Bay.
Program components include:
forming an oyster cooperative to manage a targeted oyster bar;
developing and maintaining a sustainable system of harvesting and planting;
coordinating a rotational harvest of market-size oysters;
establishing a revolving investment fund to finance and grow the program.
Funding sources for the project include the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Management partners include the Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, and Oyster Recovery Partnership.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources