The rains have finally let up, but they’ve dealt a serious blow to the Chesapeake Bay’s oysters — and to the people who make a living harvesting, cultivating or restoring them.
Oysters need at least a little salt in their environment to live and a bit more to thrive. The record-setting downpours that began last year and continued through the first half of this year flushed so much freshwater into the Chesapeake that salinity sank to abnormally low levels.
“What a rough beast of a year that was,” said Martin Gary, executive secretary of the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. “Everybody got hammered by it.”[Continue Reading]