This position consists of managing two grant programs, the monitoring and assessment of these programs, and helps grantees prepare Quality Assurance Project Plans, which outline how they will collect and use data.
Oysters have long been seen as an inexhaustible resource, harvested throughout the years without concern for consequences. According to Mike Naylor, shellfish program manager at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is now at barely 1 percent of what it had been in the past.
This is troublesome because oysters play a critical part in the ecosystem of the Bay, serving as a filtration system and also drawing associated organisms that create a community of filters and filter feeders.
Army Corps of Engineers. The lab has been able to successfully get its production to up over a billion oyster spat per year. Traditionally, oysters prefer to settle on oyster shell.
The trick was bringing the shells north in a cost effective manner. To help defray the cost, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation drew on its experience in the Gulf of Mexico as well as its existing partnership with CSX Transportation in the Chesapeake region to facilitate the rail-borne nfwf chesapeake bay business plan of the unprecedented amount of fossilized natural oyster shell.
The shell that is being transported will be used to build about 70 acres of underwater habitat in the creek to function as nursery grounds for these oysters. Upon those habitats, the University of Maryland and the Oyster Recovery Partnership will directly place millions upon millions of oysters.
It demonstrates how such a strong partnership can help to achieve even the most ambitious conservation goals and deliver important benefits to both natural and human communities in and around the Bay. Transcript [Mike] Oysters in Maryland are at approximately one percent of their historic abundance.
Much of Chesapeake Bay's habitat, the entire ecosystem, revolved around oysters.
Merritt] We have done to it what we've done to most of the world's natural resources that were there in abundance, we figured that it was inexhaustible, and we could harvest it without any consequences. And, when people talk about the value of the oysters as far as filtering the bay, that really is only part of the equation.
A lot of those organisms that associate with oysters are also filter-feeders. So, it's the filtration that the community provides that's really important, not just the filtration that the oysters provide. The restoration of oysters, as a keystone species, is one of the most important things we need to do to bring Chesapeake Bay back.
And then, once the shell is down at the bottom it remains viable. We're digging them up, washing them, grating them, and having them shipped to Maryland for use in Harris Creek. We will be bringing aboutcubic yards of fossilized oyster shells from this quarry in Florida up to Maryland over the next eight to nine months.
This is the largest rail movement, certainly, of shells ever performed in the United States and probably the world. Upon those habitats, the University of Maryland and Oyster Recovery Partnership will directly place millions upon millions of oysters.
We are making habitats out of thin air. However, it's extremely expensive. We were able to partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and CSX to defray the cost somewhat for moving these oyster shells. CSX agreed to provide transportation of fossilized oyster shells from the state of Florida all the way to the Chesapeake Bay in an in-kind contribution of somewhere around 2.
Without the involvement of CSX, this project would have taken years and years to complete. As it is, they'll be bringing almost tons of shells in the next year or so. So, their contribution is significant to oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.
Boesch] In partnership with the state, we've built this large cultivation facility, the Horn Point Lab, at the University of Maryland.
We can use the science and actually produce large quantities of oysters to be used in the restoration effort. We bring them back in here, we condition them to be ready to spawn, we spawn the oysters, we raise the larvae, we get the larvae to the point where they're ready to settle, and then we introduce them into our setting tanks and then those oysters set.
We've been able to successfully get our production up over a billion spat per year. The Oyster Recovery Partnership would come in and deploy those to various grow-out sites around the bay.
You might be used to dredging, which is where you take material out and put it onto a barge. Oyster reef restoration is actually reverse dredging. You bring a barge full of substrate material and then you take a clamshell dredge and it pulls it out and it places it in the water.
And so, we get a rough layer of 6 to 12 inches of material that covers the area we want. The Harris Creek restoration project is the largest restoration project that I'm aware of, certainly on the East Coast, if not in the entire country.
Today, we've done acres and this year, beingwe'll plan on doing about million oysters that we plant within that tributary, so 4 to 5 million oysters per acre. I know it's successful because we have demonstrated time and time again that we can take an area that has almost no oysters there and we can turn it into a living, vibrant oyster community.National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Chesapeake Business Plan Progress Report. Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund.
Who We Are Chartered by Congress in 30 member Board appointed by Secretary of the Interior Includes FWS Director & NOAA Administrator What We .
Prioritizing Conservation Plan Implementation to Protect Chesapeake Bay Trust AA County Stewardship Survey $21, 10% of full $ Al MD Heritage Areas Authority Ellicott City Stream Restoration $49, 10% TMDC Lou/Lori NFWF Chesapeake Bay-wide Stormwater Retreat $39, % Lou.
The NFWF grant provides funding to help local partners plan their restoration projects using new high-resolution land cover and LiDAR datasets to better determine precisely where projects will create the highest-impact opportunities for conservation and restoration.
the business district. In conjunc-tion with funding from 3 Rivers ing from NFWF to enhance this master plan with GI elements. The recreation improvements – upgraded playgrounds, walking NFWF, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Exelon – via the York County Conservation District – and the York County.
“We are proud to support the partnerships and innovation at work in this project,” said Jake Reilly, director of Chesapeake Bay programs at NFWF. “It’s a textbook example of how our Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction grant program is able to drive down the cost and increase the pace of restoration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”.
Toward the end of her time in XMNR in , she developed a business plan, in collaboration with the then Director of Eastern Partnership Office, “to find specific places in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed where restoration activities could achieve multiple goals around water quality, habitat and species conservation,” which are NFWF’s main.