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Please be advised that there are a number of upcoming hearings on introduction of the Asian Oyster to the Chesapeake Bay. CBF's position is that the risk is too high. See document in attached link, particularly item # 6.

Asian Oyster Impact Remains Unknown; Restoration of Native Species Urged
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
By: Carol Denny

Public comments encouraged during upcoming hearings
http://www.cbf.org/site/DocServer/1015_CBF_EIS_Position__3_.pdf?docID=13243

The Asian oyster
(Crassostrea ariakensis)

What will happen if the Asian oyster is introduced to Chesapeake Bay?
There's no way to predict what will actually happen if the Asian oyster is introduced. Despite the excellent work conducted by many scientists, no one can say with certainty that an introduction would be successful or even provide promised benefits like ecological services and sustainable harvests. And we cannot say for sure that it will be safe.

What we do know is that it would be irreversible, and that Asian oysters-even if introduced as sterile ones-would eventually spread to other waters outside the Chesapeake Bay.

Will the Asian oyster become invasive?
An invasive species is a non-indigenous plant or animal that invades habitats and causes adverse economic, environmental, or ecological effects. Whether or not the Asian oyster would cause this kind of damage, scientists agree that it is likely they would spread to areas along the Atlantic coast and possibly the Gulf coast as well.

Will the Asian oyster harm native oysters?
The number of native oysters has declined to the point where reproduction is already at a very low level. Could the Asian oyster worsen conditions? The long-term outcome is unpredictable, but recent studies have found that Asian oysters could pose a risk to natives by disrupting their reproduction, competing for space, and serving as a host for diseases that could further threaten the Chesapeake oyster.

Will it be worth the risks?
CBF believes a public policy decision of this magnitude must be based on the "Precautionary Principle." Before proceeding with an introduction, it must be known-within reasonable bounds of certainty-that it will not pose new problems.

"Our review of the EIS indicates that this burden of proof has not been met," said CBF Senior Scientist Bill Goldsborough. The Environmental Impact Statement, he said, fails to establish that the introduction will not have a negative impact on the Chesapeake oyster or the Bay and the Atlantic coast, and does not demonstrate that the expected benefits of the Asian oyster would be worth the risks.

What are the alternatives?
Given the risks, CBF supports scaling up native oyster restoration. Restoration efforts in Virginia and Maryland have already shown positive results, and could yield even more success if pursued on a larger scale. Native oyster aquaculture is on the rise and showing commercial potential.

But the Bay's degraded habitat, poor water quality, and sedimentation are key limitations for Chesapeake oysters, and will continue to hamper restoration if they are not addressed. These same factors are likely to hinder a successful introduction of Asian oysters as well. Regardless of oyster species, these habitat problems need to be fixed.

The federal government, Maryland, and Virginia have released a long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) evaluating options to restore the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population, including the introduction of a non-native oyster species (Crassostrea ariakensis) from Asia. There will be a 60-day public comment period for the DEIS, with a final decision expected next spring. Click here for hearing dates

The Chesapeake Bay is in critical condition as a result of pollution and an oyster population that now stands at a tiny fraction of its historic level. Oysters are a keystone species, filtering pollution and creating essential habitat for many other Bay creatures. Experts estimate that at the time of the Civil War, Chesapeake oysters could filter all the water in the Bay in just a few days. With the current population, it would now take more than a year to do the job.

The study, made public on October 14, 2008, neither recommends nor opposes the introduction of the Asian species. After following the research conducted for the DEIS, participating in its scientific review, and examining its conclusions, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and The Nature Conservancy issued a joint press release opposing the introduction of a non-native oyster, saying that restoring the native Chesapeake oyster holds the best promise-for citizens, the oyster industry, and the Bay itself.

"Given the available information, the combination of native oyster aquaculture and enhanced native restoration clearly provides the best potential for progress with the least amount of risk," said CBF President William C. Baker.

The DEIS says that the introduction of non-native oysters would be irreversible, and that Asian oysters-even sterile ones-would eventually spread to other waters outside the Chesapeake Bay, with unknown ecological consequences.

CBF Senior Scientist Bill Goldsborough said that the report fails to establish that the introduction will not have a negative impact on the Chesapeake oyster or the Bay and the Atlantic coast, and does not demonstrate that the expected benefits of the Asian oyster would outweigh the risks.

"The burden of proof needs to be on demonstrating that an introduction will not result in significant problems," said Goldsborough. "Our review of the DEIS indicates that this burden of proof has not been met."

Although the Asian oyster grows quickly and resists diseases affecting the Chesapeake oyster, the study highlights considerable uncertainty on its success. It confirms that the Asian oyster

is more vulnerable to predators than the Chesapeake oyster,
has a greater sensitivity to the Bay's low dissolved oxygen levels, and
poses a risk of local extinction for Chesapeake species oysters by disrupting its reproduction, competing for space, and serving as a host for disease.
Instead, cultivation of native oysters on sanctuary reefs and in commercial aquaculture operations should be supported, Goldsborough said. "The scientific community is generally positive about the prospects for native oyster restoration," he said, citing numerous successful projects Virginia and Maryland.

But the Bay's degraded habitat, poor water quality, and sedimentation are key limitations for Chesapeake oysters, and will continue to hamper restoration if they are not addressed. These same factors are also likely to hinder a successful introduction of Asian oysters.

CBF is asking concerned citizens to comment, either in writing or at one of six public hearings, which will be held in Maryland and Virginia in November. The hearing schedule is:

Virginia

Wednesday, Nov. 5, Potomac River Fisheries Commission, 222 Taylor Street, Colonial Beach, Va. 22443
Friday, Nov. 7, VMRC main office 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Va. 23607
Monday, Nov. 10, Nandua High School, 26350 Lankford Highway, Onley, Va. 23418
Maryland

Wednesday, Nov. 12, Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 HG Truman Road, Solomons, Md. 20688
Thurs. November 13, Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Md. 21401
Friday, Nov. 14, Minnette Dick Memorial Hall (St. Mary's Catholic Church), 2000 Hambrooks Blvd., Cambridge, Md. 21613
Comments can also be submitted to [email protected] or mailed to Department of the Army, Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers, Attn: Mr. Mark Mansfield, Planning and Policy Branch, Fort Norfolk, 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096.

Resources:

Read the complete text of CBF's position on the Asian oyster introduction.

You can download the Draft EIS from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at Oyster EIS - Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement - USACE Norfolk District

Read NOAA's overview of the Asian oyster issue at http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/docs/oystereisoverview.pdf

For more about the EIS process, visit NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office website at EIS
 

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I'm not a scientist, so how could I reply? Only thing I know is that nothing else seems to be working?! What does the CBF expect a non-scientist to say?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not a scientist, so how could I reply? Only thing I know is that nothing else seems to be working?! What does the CBF expect a non-scientist to say?
Lance - How true. I have no clue either and why should anyone even listen to us laymen? Jim
 

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Neither the government or the people can save the bay. Rent it out to independent contractors for a 100 year lease while there is still some value left.
 

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--Thurs. November 13, Miller Senate Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, Md. 21401

--Me & Bill G ---AGAIN !!!!!--geo.
 

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Neither the government or the people can save the bay. Rent it out to independent contractors for a 100 year lease while there is still some value left.
Having read your posts over the years and having agreed with you on many policy points, I nevertheless find that you seem confused on one fundamental point: the huge difference between pessimism and humility. Unless your goal is to curl up in a corner and die, then accept daunting tasks as a challenge rather than as a reason to give up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I recommend reading this... It spells out their position very well.

http://www.cbf.org/site/DocServer/1015_CBF_EIS_Position__3_.pdf?docID=13243
Crow - I added this at the beginning of the post and said to pay attention to # 6. My point is that I would have to agree with CBF scientists based on their position. I can't understand why the opinion of us "non-scientists" would matter. Politicians love public forums. That said, we can all learn from the debate and we're all looking for answers. Many people don't want to hear them, esp. when they involve some level of sacrifice. To Capt G and Bill G - Thanks or going and any feedback will be appreciated. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Crow - No problem. Thanks. Jim
 

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It really makes no sense to introduce a foreign oyster into our bay.Never know- it might turn out like the Zebra mussel and end up clogging water intakes.

It makes far more sense to place a moratorium on harvesting oysters and instead - pay the watermen to grow oysters and place them out on the beds or reefs.We already pay them to "clean" the bars :rolleyes: - why not pay them to help restock the bay with native oysters.
 

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The understanding I got a few years back in speaking with some watermen friends is that the "Asian" species is really the same species that have been harvested for years in the Puget Sound/Pacific Northwest State area. Supposedly it is much more resistant to MSX and Dermo than our Bay oyster. Not having the benefit of reading all the data, I guess we're all at the mercy of those who only want us to see/read and hear their side of the argument. While I understand and do share Skip's concerns about the invasiveness of the Zebra Mussel, it was my understanding that while they could prosper in the Bay, they were not as agressive as the Mussel. Perhaps someone out there has some information if this has been a problem in the Pacific Northwest.

One thing's clear though. Until we get the politicians off their asses to enforce regional environmental policies in a multi state process and get oysters into the Bay that can filter this water, we're in deep kimchi. If the Bay oyster truly cannot survive...and thrive again... in the Bay, we may be left with only the "Asian" option to revive the Bay. Otherwise, it will turn into a permanent dead zone.

This should be one that all of us...watermen and sport fishermen...can get together on and embrace. The benefit for all of us far exceed everything else.
 

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My humble thoughts on the Entire Picture ( Condensed}

Crow - I added this at the beginning of the post and said to pay attention to # 6. My point is that I would have to agree with CBF scientists based on their position. I can't understand why the opinion of us "non-scientists" would matter. Politicians love public forums. That said, we can all learn from the debate and we're all looking for answers. Many people don't want to hear them, esp. when they involve some level of sacrifice. To Capt G and Bill G - Thanks or going and any feedback will be appreciated. Jim
-----JIM And CROW---( Whoops)--& others Intrested --I hope JPW & BG will get involed in this Thread before the Meeting Date ---

---What in the World are we waiting for ?* Studies -Years of Dollars , spent --Should have been taxed as "Flush " money ---Study PROS are like CEO's --Hell, that rymes---Could be a Rally Call --

--Ain't no Bay User just a "non-scientist"---Ya got eyes & ears--You Read & some can Spell --Enough to know this Issue must be Addressed NOW--

--Simple & Basic--K.I.S.S.-Hydrilla in the Potomac, Zebras in the Great Lakes , A new Sport Fish --Snakeheads--All were Mistakes or Local Doings ---Lets Get on with it ---Do it before I Depart the World --Clean it up --Asians maybe the answer -I Personaly trhink {test misspell} it can't Hurt one Ioata-
--This & Fishing Too-geo.
 

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I may not be an expert, but the alternative is do nothing? Well we see how well doing nothing is doing...The native oysters are gone. Most of those in the bay today were put there (stocked) at huge expense to the tax payer, just so a handful of "watermen" can harvest them. They won't simply put them in and leave them alone to filter the water and breed. What else is there? If they don't allow the Asian Oyster I would love to see what alternative plans they have that they say WILL work...and how long they claim it will take to get the plan in action....
 

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The understanding I got a few years back in speaking with some watermen friends is that the "Asian" species is really the same species that have been harvested for years in the Puget Sound/Pacific Northwest State area.
That's incorrect - the species harvested on the West Coast is not the same. The confusion among the watermen probably stems from the MWA itself, which some years ago decided to refer to the Asian oyster (C. ariakensis) by the more "native" sounding title "Oregon oyster" - because the stock of Asian oysters being used in scientific studies originated from a research laboratory in Oregon. However, these oysters do not exist in the wild on the West Coast. Here's some background from 2005.

Baltimore Sun 02/20/2005

Rona Kobell and Tom Pelton

Maryland Natural Resources officials often downplay the risks of a proposal to put Asian oysters in the Chesapeake Bay by pointing out that the foreign species was brought long ago to other U.S. waters without apparent harm to the environment.

"These oysters have been on the West Coast since 1960," Secretary C. Ronald Franks said this week at a hearing before a Senate committee in Annapolis.

That statement could be misleading, some scientists say.

Although the oyster,Crassostrea ariakensis, was placed in waters off the coast of Oregon in the 1960s, the species never established itself there. It did not reproduce outside research laboratories. And most of the animals died.

No ariakensis are known to remain in Oregon, said Christopher Langdon, a fisheries biologist at Oregon State University, which supervised the population. A few dozen of their descendants live in a hatchery in Washington state, he said.
 

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We will never know if adding the Asian oyster will turn out to be a "honey bee" or "kudzu" until it is introduced. The question is - Is the Bay degaded enough to take that chance? As a non-scientist, I think the water needs to be cleaner and we obviously don't have the will or resources to do what CBF recommends. On the other hand (selfishly speaking), the fishing was pretty good this year, will this make it better?
 

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That's incorrect - the species harvested on the West Coast is not the same. The confusion among the watermen probably stems from the MWA itself, which some years ago decided to refer to the Asian oyster (C. ariakensis) by the more "native" sounding title "Oregon oyster" - because the stock of Asian oysters being used in scientific studies originated from a research laboratory in Oregon. However, these oysters do not exist in the wild on the West Coast. Here's some background from 2005.

Baltimore Sun 02/20/2005

Rona Kobell and Tom Pelton

Maryland Natural Resources officials often downplay the risks of a proposal to put Asian oysters in the Chesapeake Bay by pointing out that the foreign species was brought long ago to other U.S. waters without apparent harm to the environment.

"These oysters have been on the West Coast since 1960," Secretary C. Ronald Franks said this week at a hearing before a Senate committee in Annapolis.

That statement could be misleading, some scientists say.

Although the oyster,Crassostrea ariakensis, was placed in waters off the coast of Oregon in the 1960s, the species never established itself there. It did not reproduce outside research laboratories. And most of the animals died.

No ariakensis are known to remain in Oregon, said Christopher Langdon, a fisheries biologist at Oregon State University, which supervised the population. A few dozen of their descendants live in a hatchery in Washington state, he said.
--OUTSTANDING ---This is Basic info Inquring {Non Proffesors} like Me need to know --Had Forgotton this Info. Keep Em Comming---geo.
 

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The only logical first step here would be to stop harvesting oysters from the bay alltogether. Put the funds back to the watermen to retore the oysters rather than deplete them. Period.
 

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We will never know if adding the Asian oyster will turn out to be a "honey bee" or "kudzu" until it is introduced. The question is - Is the Bay degaded enough to take that chance? As a non-scientist, I think the water needs to be cleaner and we obviously don't have the will or resources to do what CBF recommends. On the other hand (selfishly speaking), the fishing was pretty good this year, will this make it better?
--GREAT inport if used properly & controled --I had bad land on the farm on some Acreage --Planted "kudzu" as a Hay Crop , could harvest 3 times a year --Also used it on Earthen Farm pond Dams to control Erosion---

--Has 12 Hives --The honey bee Crisis Is Bad --E.G. no bees on boat this year with a Offshore wind --VERY< very bad sign --no bees no pollenation of Anything!---This should be a Alart --Some folks sprat thier pollenating Flowers & Unknowingly kill the workers --

---This is not a HI -Jack---just info.-geo.
 
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