Hogan Administration Announces Additional Funding for Bay Oysters

Dedicates $2 Million a Year for Oyster Fishery and Recovery

Photo of Governor Larry Hogan and others by Joe Andrucyk.
Governor Larry Hogan signs the new oyster funding agreement. Photo by Joe Andrucyk

Governor Larry Hogan announced today that the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Department of Natural Resources have entered into a new agreement that will provide millions of dollars for ongoing oyster activities in Chesapeake Bay.

“Our administration has invested more than $4 billion to enhance, protect, and restore the health and vitality of our cherished Chesapeake Bay,” said Governor Hogan said. “As the chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, I am proud the progress we’ve made and our shared commitment to take on tomorrow’s challenges.”

The new four-year agreement will provide $2 million annually from the Transportation Trust Fund to the Department of Natural Resources for ongoing and future industry efforts, including dedicated funding for equipment, labor, material, supervision and support.

“The Chesapeake Bay is a great source of business to both the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and the oyster industry,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports. “Thanks to our partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, this new oyster restoration agreement provides even more money directly to Maryland watermen to ensure a sustainable oyster industry for years to come.”

The extension was signed by Deputy Secretary Ports and Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton – witnessed by Governor Hogan –following the dedication of the recently reconstructed Cambridge Marine Wharf, located near Sailwinds Park. The dedication and signing ceremony was part of Governor Hogan’s Mid-Shore Regional Cabinet Meeting that covered Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot counties.

“Working with our partners and stakeholders, we can help rebuild the oyster population while also improving the health of Chesapeake Bay,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “This funding will go toward ongoing oyster industry programs and projects, and help design and develop new initiatives that could benefit both the bay and our working watermen.”

Increased funding will go toward oyster propagation and replenishment efforts through 2023 with no less than $925,000 annually going to support the wild oyster fishery, with the Department of Natural Resources coordinating with county oyster committees and watermen on shared projects and priorities, including the establishment of oyster seed areas, monitoring, sampling, seed and shell plantings, surveying and transplanting.

The Chesapeake Bay Enhancement Program between the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Department of Natural Resources was first signed in 1996.

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at davidhiggins@southernmarylandchronicle.com

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.