ANNAPOLIS — A bill in the Maryland General Assembly originally intended to restructure county oyster committees has been amended in a way to start the dialogue on sustainable oyster harvesting.

"There has been a lot of concern about oysters, shell, oyster seeding, dredging, the different ways of harvesting oyster and our oyster committees, and I applaud the effort of everybody wanting to get folks to the table and figure out how we truly manage and create a sustainable harvestry because I think that's what it's all about," said Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, who is the bill's sponsor.

In a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, March 24, Eckardt explained the origin of her bill.

She said it came after she was asked to cross-file a house bill of Del. Marvin Holmes, a Prince George's County Democrat who engaged with Maryland's commercial oyster industry and the county-based Clean Chesapeake Coalition to draft a bill that bestowed more power to county oyster committees and opened more bottom for harvest.

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