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Oyster recovery 'starting to pay off '

by the Fish Site Editor
08 July 2006, at 1:00am

NEW JERSEY - Delaware&#39;s top politicians put out the welcome mat for a new generation of bay oysters Friday in a floating anniversary for one of the region&#39;s most-promising environmental restoration efforts. The &quot;shell-planting&quot; event in waters east of Leipsic marked the start of a new year for the Delaware Bay Oyster Restoration Project, a program backed by Delaware, New Jersey, federal agencies, the Delaware River Basin Commission, Delaware River and Bay Authority, Rutgers University and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. Tons of clean oyster and clam shells are scattered on the bay bottom through the program, creating an inviting home for finicky bay larvae, or spat. Last year&#39;s efforts already have been credited for doubling the number of oysters that set, or attached to permanent spots, on reefs below the surface. Congress approved $2.3 million in federal support for the work during the past two years, with more proposed for next year. Harvest quotas could be increased by as much as 50 percent within three years if current trends continue. <i>Source: Delawareonline</i>

the Fish Site Editor