The state of Maryland is seeking to put the brakes on an oyster restoration project on the Eastern Shore, dismaying environmentalists who fear a delay could hinder efforts to boost oyster populations.OMG, they want to find out if it's working before they dump more money into it? Government isn't supposed to work like that!
Earlier this year, crews began building artificial reefs on the Tred Avon River in Talbot County to provide new homes for lab-created baby oysters. The work is planned to continue until there are enough new reefs to support a thriving oyster population.
But Department of Natural Resources officials confirmed Thursday that they are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of putting down rock to create the reefs, to place the project on hold.
The state first wants to finish an overall review of oyster restoration efforts, expected to be completed in July, according to DNR spokesman Stephen Schatz.
Officials with the Corps of Engineers could not be reached for comment Thursday. Federal employees worked a half-day for the Christmas Eve holiday.Back in the good old days, we scientists tended to be strongly in favor of actually monitoring restoration efforts. Of course, that was because we expected to be paid to do it.
The possibility of a delay has worried the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Officials there were under the impression that oyster restoration work would keep going even as the state's review of oyster projects was conducted.