RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is shedding its late 19th century oyster tax for an annual user fee.
The new system will spare watermen mounds of paperwork and return the proceeds of the user fee back to the Chesapeake Bay to replenish public oyster stocks. The new system begins July 1.
It will replace a system that required monthly reports and taxes on each bushel of oysters. The user fees apply to commercial oyster operations, not for individuals who grow oysters off their docks for their own eating enjoyment.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal plan to restore the native oyster to the Chesapeake Bay identifies 24 tributaries in Virginia and Maryland that provide the best potential to bring back a coveted hard-shell that has declined to less than 1 percent of historic highs.
The plan was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the federally directed effort to restore the environmentally battered estuary, the nation's largest. It concludes that 14 tributaries in Maryland and 10 in Virginia offer the best hope of restoring the bay oyster.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland natural resources officials say seven tributaries are being added to a volunteer oyster growing program.
The Department of Natural Resources says each year the program accepts applications from community groups and all seven applicants this year were accepted. The applications came from the Bodkin, Oyster, Pope's and Crab Alley Creeks as well as the Little Choptank and Rhode rivers, and Swan Cove in Harris Creek.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Two Eastern Shore waterways will get $7.5 million for oyster restoration under Maryland's proposed state budget.
Harris Creek and the Little Choptank River would receive funding for the placement of oyster shells, limestone, granite or other substrate to create habitat in the waterways, which are home to two of the state's new oyster sanctuaries. The Department of Natural Resources says it believes oysters will survive in the waterways if they have a substrate on which to grow.