WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie B. Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) today announced a new federal grant of $800,000 for the restoration of oyster reefs that are vital to the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
The new funding for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources comes through NOAA Fisheries to support the placement of spat-on-shell, or oyster larvae, on up to 100 acres of oyster reefs in four Maryland tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Higher oyster density is expected to lead to increased environmental benefits, such as water filtration and more habitat for fish.
“Oysters are restoration engines for the Chesapeake Bay. They play a key role in the Bay’s ecosystem, filtering water and providing habitat for biodiverse aquatic wildlife. This new federal grant will deliver the resources to create 100 acres of oyster reefs, an area equivalent to 75 football fields, that will provide fertile ground for Bay restoration,” said the members. “We look forward to the successful implementation of these restoration projects and are committed to continuing to lead the effort to expand our investment in the health of the Chesapeake Bay.”
NOAA Fisheries provides funding and technical support to partners across the country to develop high-quality habitat restoration projects. Funding for the new Maryland project comes through the Community-based Restoration Program, which funds habitat restoration projects focused on supporting sustainable fisheries and recovering Endangered Species Act-listed species.