are coming to
CBF and its partners will insist in the upcoming legislation session that large poultry companies take responsibility for excess chicken
manure that fouls the water of Maryland’s
Eastern Shore. Taxpayers and chicken growers should not have to bear all the responsibility and costs. CBF also will support
legislation to require a 40 percent reduction
in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Maryland has been a leader in reducing these
emissions, resulting in both cleaner air and
water. CBF also will fight for a bill to ban
plastic bags in Maryland to reduce the plastic
pollution reaching local waters and the Bay.
The session will convene January 13.
Five Million Strong
They’re back. Oysters in the Patapsco River
and even in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.
On October 22, CBF and Waterfront
Partnership of Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor
Initiative announced a plan to plant five million young oysters just north of Fort Carroll
in the Patapsco. About 750,000 Crassostrea
virginica, native Chesapeake Bay oysters, will
be raised by volunteers at various sites
around the Inner Harbor. The remaining oysters will be grown at CBF’s Oyster Restoration
Center in Shady Side, Maryland, and then
transported to the sanctuary reef by CBF’s
oyster restoration vessel Patricia Campbell.
The launch of this project was celebrated
on October 24 at the first-annual Great
Baltimore Oyster Festival at the Inner
Harbor’s West Shore Park. The event featured vendors and displays, oyster boat
tours, educational activities, and live music
by the Eastport Oyster Boys and The High
& Wides. Guests also indulged in an
impressive selection of grilled and raw oysters raised throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Baltimore used to be called the Oyster Capital
of the World for the packing and canning
operations that lined the harbor, processing
millions of tons of oysters from the mid-19th
to early-20th centuries. It is said that much of
the modern development around the harbor
was built on top of massive piles of oyster
shells discarded by the canning plants.
Pollution, disease, and over-harvesting
doomed the once prodigious Bay oyster
populations, and the industry.
Oysters have been making an exciting
comeback around the Chesapeake for the
past few years. Last year’s yields from the
harvest of wild oysters were the highest in
three decades. Oysters also are being raised
at hundreds of oyster farms. And, a part-
nership of government agencies, institu-
tions, and non-profit groups recently
finished building the largest oyster reef in
the world in Harris Creek, a tributary of
the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern
Shore. The area is off-limits to harvesting
to boost oyster reproduction and to allow
the oysters to filter the water and provide
habitat for other Bay creatures.
Baltimore’s future five million young oysters will still face multiple challenges to
survive once they are planted on the Fort
Carroll reef, from pollution to varying
salinity. But Maryland’s Department of
Natural Resources and CBF have surveyed
the site and found that the outlook is good
for the bi-valves to grow and survive there.
CBF and the Waterfront Partnership hope to
engage hundreds of residents and businesses
in raising oysters in the coming years. Not
only do oysters filter the water and create
valuable and essential habitat for other critters, but growing oysters is a fun and engaging way to educate Baltimoreans on oysters
and how they can be part of restoring water
quality in the Inner Harbor and the Bay.
u For more on CBF’s oyster gardening program, visit cbf.org/oysters.