A Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) press release (2018-09-05) announced that DNR will recommend the Manokin River in Somerset County become the last tributary to be targeted for large-scale oyster restoration under the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.
Under the Bay Agreement, Maryland must identify five of its Bay tributaries for major oyster restoration efforts, in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Army Corps of Engineers, and other partners. The recommendation replaces a prior DNR recommendation of having Breton Bay in St. Mary’s County serve as the fifth location. The Breton Bay recommendation was rescinded after a survey of the tributary found that it was unsuitable for restoration efforts. From the press release:
Working with the Interagency Oyster Restoration Workgroup, Oyster Advisory Commission, county oyster committees and other partners, the department will restore the tributary using state funds. The restoration work would occur in deep water to avoid any public safety and navigation hazard to anglers, boaters and commercial watermen. The department will engage local watermen in field work, plantings and surveying.
If selected, the Manokin will join Harris Creek, Little Choptank, Tred Avon and Upper St. Mary’s as the state’s large-scale oyster restoration tributaries. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement set a goal of restoring oyster reefs and populations in 10 Chesapeake Bay rivers – five in Maryland and five in Virginia – by 2025.
The press release also discussed DNR’s ongoing work with oyster sanctuaries in Anne Arundel County.