Federal Budget Lacks Funding for Tred Avon River Oyster Restorat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Federal Budget Lacks Funding for Tred Avon River Oyster Restoration

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 5:15 PM Updated:

EASTON, Md. - The oyster reef restoration in the Tred Avon River was close to finishing, but 2018's federal spending budget didn't give the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the $3-$5 million they needed to continue the project.

Environmentalist Kelley Cox, of the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, says it's a shame the project couldn't finish.

"I think it's a waste of what they've already done," Cox said.

Large claws dropped a mixture of rock and shell into the river's bottom. Out of 146 acres they hoped to restore, 45 acres still need reefs and oysters, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Watermen like Rob Newberry, of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, say it's time things change. Newberry says too many taxpayer dollars are wasted on restoration and similar projects.

"For what we're getting and all the problems isn't working, we need to reevaluate it," Newberry said.

Cox says it could be a chance for private investments to kick in such as aquaculture - a process that allows people to produce and grow their own oysters.

Newberry says it's not a bad idea, but better money could be spent on programs like the watermen's Seed and Shell Program - a program that uses state money to put old shell back into the Bay.

For now -- the army corps of engineers says nothing much can be done except monitor the reefs that are already planted.

On Monday, Maryland Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin said they were disappointed with the lack of funding for the Tred Avon River oyster restoration project. Both lawmakers said they'd try to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as the state to get the project back on track.






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