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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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A couple days ago, I hosted representatives from NOAA Chesapeake Bay and The Nature Conservancy. I invited them to spend the morning on the Piankatank River where we visited different oyster restoration projects. We talked about how to incorporate a holistic habitat approach to oyster restoration that will provide valuable habitat necessary to support biotic communities that once relied on historic vertical 3D oyster reefs. With 99% of the natural oyster reef habitat destroyed, it is very important that oyster restoration projects include the complex three-dimensionality of bottom structure necessary to support diversity of life. As stakeholders in the resource, anglers need to be involved in the restoration process. The US Army Corps of Engineers predicts a $2 Billion investment in oyster restoration on the Chesapeake. If anglers do not make their voices heard, restoration design will ignore the habitat value necessary to support valuable gamefish like striped bass. It is important to remember striper are called rockfish locally because historically they were found on oyster "rock" reefs. Let's make sure rockfish see the return of their namesake home!

Here is a great fact sheet CBF has on oyster reefs - www.cbf.org/document.doc?id=2298

One way anglers can be involved is to submit this sign on letter to the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council by July 21st. http://www.cbf.org/join-us/take-action/2015-ec-meeting-anglers-sign-on-letter
 

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Each adult oyster filters and cleans up to 50 gallons of water per day—gobbling up algae, and removing dirt and nitrogen pollution—that's good news for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and for us.
The oysters in the Bay could once filter a volume of water equal to that of the entire Bay (about 19 trillion gallons) in a week. Today, it would take the remaining Bay oysters more than a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The filtering capacity of oysters is very important, but it is not the only resource function that oysters once provided. My concern is that millions of dollars are currently being spent to restore oysters as a single species through low relief sanctuary projects. These projects are ignoring the habitat value of complex vertical 3D oyster reefs. It is the complexity of historic reefs that supported diversity and abundance of countless species... not just oysters. With VMRC staff stating that there will be no new fishing reefs in the state, oyster sanctuary projects that take a holistic versus single species approach to restoration are the only hope for anglers to see new fish habitat.
 
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