Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, along with House Speaker Michael Busch, recently kicked off the “Marylanders Grow Oysters” program in Anne Arundel County.
“The Marylanders Grow Oysters Program is a low-cost, grassroots endeavor that allows our citizens to assist the County and State in helping bring our oyster population back to life,” said Schuh. “The oyster population serves as our Bay’s natural filtration system, further helping to clean our more than 530 miles of shoreline.”
The innovative program encourages waterfront property owners to hang cages of baby oysters from their docks. The oysters are delivered to central locations around the state in September of each year and then distributed to individual properties. The grown oysters are then placed on sanctuary reefs.
“The Marylanders Grow Oysters Program is a perfect collaboration between the community, non-profits, state and local government,” said Busch. “Revitalizing our oyster population is a critical step for the long term health of the Bay.”
This year’s program will distribute approximately 7,200 cages to waterfront property owners in 33 rivers and creeks in Maryland. Of these, nearly 50% will be in Anne Arundel County waters. Of the 3,500 cages in Anne Arundel County waters, 56% will be in the here in the Severn River watershed. One oyster filters up to 50 gallons of water per day.
To support the program in the County, the Schuh Administration set aside $17,000 each of the last two years.
The program is managed by the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) and grows in popularity every year. Citizens can find out more by calling 410-990-4970.