Bay Journal

Topics: Fisheries

New federal budget does not contain funds to build oyster reefs in Maryland or Virginia

Lead story image

​Oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay faces an uncertain future because the federal budget recently passed by Congress failed to provide any dedicated money to continue reef construction in either Maryland or Virginia.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been building oyster reefs in the Bay for more than 20 years, and in recent years it’s been a major partner in the state-federal initiative to restore oyster habitat and populations in 10 of the Bay’s tributaries by 2025.

But the omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018 — approved March 23 and signed the same day by President Trump — marks the second year in a row with no specific appropriation for the Corps to continue reef restoration in the Bay.

[Continue Reading]

Loading...

More articles »

About Fisheries

Acre for acre, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most productive water bodies on the planet when it comes to fish. Populations of the native striped bass and nonnative blue catfish have risen dramatically in recent decades, while blue crabs appear to be on the road to recovery.

Recent interest in aquaculture has sharply increased commercial production of oysters from the Chesapeake. Nonetheless, problems such as historic overfishing, habitat loss and disease have reduced the abundance of some iconic species such as wild oyster populations, American shad and river herring, American eels and Atlantic sturgeon to near record-low levels. In the headwaters, brook trout have suffered major habitat losses.

Copyright ©2018 Bay Journal / Bay Journal Media / Advertise with Us

Terms of use | Privacy Policy