CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Two weeks following a public hearing held by the Department of Natural Resources for Dorchester County residents, the county council is pulling out all the stops to prevent fossilized oyster shell from being spread in the Little Choptank.
The project calls for one foot of fossilized shell and rock to be spread along 187 acres of clear bottom in the river to provide a hard substrate for oyster spat to cling to, creating a new oyster bed. The DNR says this will provide an ecosystem for thousands of oysters which can further speed up efforts to clean the Chesapeake Bay and it's tributaries.
But watermen are not in agreement. They say this would cover up the mud that crabs will soon be crawling out of, and make the area unharvestable in the future. Boo Powley, chairman of the Harvesters Land and Sea Coalition thinks the project doesn't make sense.
"It doesn't make any sense to dig shells from 40 feet under the ground in Florida and bring it up here, you don't know what kind of disease it's going to bring." said Powley.
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