Maryland Watermen Get Help for Shell and Seed Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Watermen Get Help for Shell and Seed Program

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 5:53 PM Updated:

OXFORD, Md. - On top the Myrtle-Virginia on Thursday were nearly 2,000 bushels full of oyster shells.

With help from a pump, watermen were busy spraying shells off into the Tred Avon River in Talbot County, repopulating oyster numbers as part of what's called the Shell and Seed program. It's a program the Hogan administration recently funded with $750,000.

A good deal, according to watermen like Alvin Richardson.

The money wasn't originally part of the agenda. In a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, watermen asked for an two-week oyster season extension after cold weather stopped them from harvesting earlier in the year.

DNR's Secretary, Mark Belton, responded not with an extension for fear of over-harvesting, but money for the program.

"It's better but it can get better," Richardson said.

Watermen say there's only a handful of them left in the program. Participating, they say, costs them.

Richardson says the $750,000 will help them buy back wild oyster shells they later plan to drop.

"This is helping replenish the Bay so it worked out great," Richardson said.

According to Rob Newberry of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, the money will bring 100 million oysters to bay waters and generate nearly $15 million in revenue.

 

 

 

 

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