Oyster farming is good for the bay

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 August 2006, at 1:00am

VIRGINIA - Oyster aquaculture has been the subject of several recent news articles that have highlighted a controversy over waterfront rights and privileges. As a trustee of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and as a former member of the General Assembly and former secretary of natural resources, I would like to offer some additional thoughts on the potential benefits of oyster farming in the Chesapeake Bay. For centuries, oysters have defined the Chesapeake Bay, its culture, its economy and its menus. Historically, oyster packers and growers raised oysters on large tracts of state-owned river bottom leased from the commonwealth of Virginia. They planted seed oysters on these leaseholds and then grew them to market size. Most oyster production in Virginia was done in this traditional way, and it was these entrepreneurs whose investment transformed nonproductive bottom into highly valuable oyster grounds rivaling the constitutionally protected public oyster beds known as "Baylor" grounds Source: Daily Press