April 17, 2012
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Issues Statement on Army Corps Oyster Restoration Plan
(NORFOLK, VA)—Chesapeake Bay Foundation Oyster Restoration and Fisheries Scientist Tommy Leggett issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' oyster restoration plan for the Chesapeake Bay. The plan is the subject of a public hearing today in Hampton.
"The Corps' Master Plan is ambitious but warranted considering the state of the oyster resource and the fact that the bay will not be restored without a significant increase in the oyster population. Scaling up restoration efforts to meet the magnitude of the problem is essential for success. Given limited resources, concentrating work in target tributaries to achieve the right scale makes sense.
"Virginia's recent success at enhancing the oyster fishery using a rotational harvest system is a natural complement to the plan. The Corps, the state, and other partners should work together to meet both objectives: a restored oyster resource and a productive fishery. This strategy will provide the benefits that restored sanctuary reefs offer, such as a source of reproducing oysters, habitat for other plants and animals, and natural selection of disease-resistant oysters, as well as boost Virginia's seafood industry and the economy."