St. Mary’s River Oyster Leasing Public Meeting

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On December 6, the Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) will hold a public meeting to discuss adding criteria to regulated oyster aquaculture inside of the St. Mary’s River Oyster Sanctuary. The meeting will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn, 22211 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, Md. 20653..

Changes under consideration would allow private leasing as part of the overall restoration plan for the area. According to DNR, biologists have determined that a regulated amount of oyster farming within the St. Mary’s Oyster Sanctuary is compatible with the restoration effort.

One option is to maintain the status quo. The other option would stipulate that areas with average oyster densities of more than 15 oysters per square meter cannot be leased.

The figure is based on Chesapeake Bay Program’s guidelines for what constitutes a restored oyster bar. The second option is in addition to existing regulations including no more than 10 percent of a total sanctuary area may be leased, and leases may not be on Yates bars.

source: MD DNR

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