The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, awarded an approximately $1-million contract Sept. 26, 2016, to Blue Forge LLC to construct oyster reefs in the Tred Avon River Oyster Sanctuary in Talbot County. Blue Forge LLC is a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business.
Eight acres of reef are planned for construction using mixed shell in water depths greater than 9 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW); there is also a contract option for an additional 10 acres to be constructed in the sanctuary, primarily in water depths between 6.5 and 9 feet.
The mixed shell comes from processing plants in the mid-Atlantic region and is permitted to be imported and placed in the river. The optional work is dependent upon completion of an environmental assessment and coordination of reef materials to be used. Work will occur between December 2016 and March 2017.
The Oyster Advisory Committee comprised of watermen, environmentalists, scientists, elected officials, and state and federal representatives recommended Aug. 1, 2016, that the Corps and non-federal sponsor Maryland Department of Natural Resources continue oyster restoration in the Tred Avon River after an initial delay was requested in December 2015 to review restoration progress.
There is a total of 78 acres of reef restoration work identified in the Tred Avon River Oyster Restoration Tributary Plan, plus placement of spat-on-shell (baby oysters) by Oyster Recovery Partnership on 63 – 71 acres of existing oyster reefs.
In addition to the Tred Avon River, Harris Creek, and the Little Choptank River, MD DNR anticipates selection of the next two tributaries for restoration by spring 2017.
source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District