Don Rush

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A coalition of environmental groups and foundations has made a goal of adding 10 billion oysters to the Chesapeake Bay over the next several years.

The Virginian-Pilot reports foundation officials hope the increased cooperation will accelerate the oyster drive and add to pressure against the Trump administration's proposed cutbacks in federal funding for bay cleanup.

Will Baker with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation tells WTOP-FM that oysters are a keystone species and are vital to the health of the Bay.


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - About 600 concrete balls will be placed into the Lafayette River this summer to help restore the oyster population.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said in statement that it used a crane last week to lower 100 of the balls into the water in Norfolk.

The Lafayette is a tributary of the Elizabeth River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The nearly 5-acre (2-hectare) reef is being constructed at the mouth of the Lafayette.

Don Rush

Plans by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources would give watermen more room to harvest oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports the agency has plans to reduce the sanctuary acreage by 11 percent or around 1-thousand acres.

For the Lower Shore around 100 acres would be opened up in the Tangier Sound while the 17-thousand sanctuary acres on the Nanticoke River would be expanded by over 800 acres.

The paper reports that the Manokin and Nanticoke rivers could be two of eight potential sites for oyster reef restoration.   

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's environmental secretary has halted commercial and recreational harvesting of shellfish in the Delaware Bay after a sewage spill in Kent County.

Officials say the spill from a sewage pump station in Dover discharged hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater into the St. Jones River, which empties into the bay.

The harvest closure for oysters, clams and mussels will be in effect for 21 days after the county's wastewater discharge has been halted.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to travel to Canada this week to promote Virginia business with a top importer.

McAuliffe's office said Monday the governor will head a four-day marketing tour starting Tuesday.

The governor will visit Toronto and Montreal during the trade mission.

He will also go to Boston.

Canada is a major trading partner with Virginia, importing more than $3.3 billion in manufactured goods in 2015.

McAuliffe said he plans to promote Virginia oysters, wine, craft beer and travel opportunities during the trip.

creative commons

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Virginia shellfish farmers are leading the nation in hard clam sales.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that data from the College of William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that shellfish farmers sold about $32.3 million worth of aquacultured clams in 2015.

Virginia also came out on top in oyster sales among East Coast states. The report shows that the state's shellfish farmers sold $16 million in oysters last year.

Don Rush

The Maryland state senate has approved a measure that would require the University of Maryland to set harvesting levels for the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The aim is to create a sustainable stock of oysters for the future.  

The measure’s supporters say that the state’s oyster population is being over harvested.

But the seafood industry says the new measures would be too costly and are unnecessary.

The legislation is now pending in the House of Delegates.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Fans of the Chesapeake Bay now have an online tool to track the progress of the estuary's restoration.

Called ChesapeakeProgress, the website gives visitors an overview of the multi-state effort to clean up the bay after decades of neglect. The site shows goals and outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement involving six states and Washington, D.C.

The agreement is aimed at limiting urban and rural pollution from flowing into the bay. The bay's water has become so polluted, vast areas are called "dead zones" because they are devoid of life.


The blue crab could be coming back in Delaware.

The harvest is expected to bring in around 4 million pounds.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that’s 1 million pounds over last year’s projection.

The latest projection says that it saw the highest index of juvenile blue crabs the state has seen since the mid-2-thousands.

The News Journal reports that previous winters were extremely cold producing higher mortality rates.

Meanwhile, when it comes to oysters the projections spell trouble.

The quota in 2016 has been set just over 10-thousand.

Farming the Oyster

Nov 25, 2015
Don Rush

With the depletion of the oyster in the Chesapeake Bay a new industry has grown up in the region. It's called aquaculture where oysters are raised to produce this iconic creature. WYPR's Joel McCord took a look at the growth of this industry in the region.