The Manokin River has been approved as the 10th Chesapeake Bay tributary for large-scale oyster reef restoration, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement calls for the restoration of the native oyster population in 10 tributaries by 2025.
The Manokin River is the final tributary to be selected for this Chesapeake Bay Program partnership effort.
The Manokin River joins four other large-scale Maryland oyster restoration sites: Harris Creek, Little Choptank, Tred Avon, and Upper St. Mary’s rivers.
Situated off Tangier Sound, along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Manokin River is more than 16,000 acres and has been an oyster sanctuary area since 2010.
In addition to the Maryland sites, large-scale oyster restoration is also taking place in five locations in Virginia: Great Wicomico, Lafayette, Lower York, Lynnhaven, and Piankatank rivers.
According to the 2018 Maryland Oyster Restoration Update, 773.58 acres of oyster reefs have been restored in Harris Creek, the Little Choptank, and Tred Avon rivers.
While all initial restoration work has been completed in Harris Creek, work continues in the Tred Avon and Little Choptank rivers.
Monitoring efforts to date, which track the health of restored reefs, show the work has been successful: A recent report notes that from 2015 through 2017, a total of 56 restored reefs in Harris Creek were monitored and 98% of those reefs met the minimum threshold for both oyster density and biomass.
source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources