Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Like Bringing Coals to Newcastle

More than 100,000 tons of fossilized oyster shell will be shipped from the Gulf Coast to Baltimore on CSX Corporation trains, thanks to a new partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Jacksonville, Fla., transportation company.

The shell will be used to restore reefs in Harris Creek and the Little Choptank River, both of which flow into the Choptank on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The waterways are the first two sites of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-led strategy meant to restore oysters to 20 Chesapeake Bay tributaries by 2025.
Huge deposits of fossil oyster shell also exist in Chesapeake Bay, and were used for a long time for oyster restoration in the Bay.  However, it's use was stopped due to a coalition of environmentalists and fishing interests who opposed it for environmental reasons.

From the Field: Rebuilding oyster reefs in Harris Creek, Md. from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.

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