During the 2012 season, Maryland initiated oyster plantings aimed at fulfilling the goals set by federal agencies to restore oyster habitat and populations in 20 Bay tributaries by 2025.
Workers deployed 634 million spat on shell in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay, with most of those deployed into the Harris Creek oyster sanctuary.
The effort involved the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), the University of Maryland Horn Point Lab Hatchery (UMD HPL), along with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District
Nearly one third of the 360 acre goal in Harris Creek has been planted with enhanced substrate and spat on shell. In addition, portions of the Upper Bay were restocked with oysters after last year’s wide-scale mortality from excessive fresh water.
Harris Creek, a tributary of the Choptank River, is the first river targeted for large-scale, tributary-based oyster restoration. This area was chosen collaboratively by Maryland DNR, Army Corps Baltimore District and NOAA because of its high likelihood to succeed. Construction of the Harris Creek oyster sanctuary is funded primarily by Maryland DNR, the Army Corps and NOAA.
source: Oyster Recovery Partnership