The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and The Nature Conservancy applaud the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maryland, and Virginia to follow the science, reject the introduction of a foreign oyster in the Chesapeake Bay, and focus commercial and ecological restoration efforts on the native bay oyster.
“This decision supports native oyster restoration and says no to further testing of Asian oysters unless it is conducted with no risk to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Roy Hoagland, CBF Vice President for Environmental Protection and Restoration. “Governors O’Malley and Kaine and Col. Anninos have correctly recognized the dangers that non-native oysters pose as well as the enormous potential for restoration of the native population.”
Over the last five years, aquaculture and native oyster restoration techniques have improved substantially, and today there are scores of profitable businesses producing native oysters grown on “oyster farms.” At the same time, wild oysters are showing increasing tolerance to diseases, and rivers such as Virginia’s Lynnhaven and Great Wicomico now have established, thriving native oyster reefs.
“Restoration and aquaculture successes can and will continue to expand with our native oyster,” said Michael Lipford, Virginia Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy. “We look forward to working in a unified and coordinated effort with citizens, governments, and the seafood industry to ensure a healthy oyster resource and profitable native oyster economy.”
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is a 501(c)(3) organization to restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers. Since our founding 40 years ago, our goal has been to improve water quality by reducing pollution. Our motto, Save the Bay, has been the battle cry for that goal. Visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on the Web at www.cbf.org.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Jon Schwedler (TNC)
John Surrick (CBF)