Maryland Update

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CBF restoration volunteers planting trees and shrubs adjacent to a 50 acre wetland restoration project in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Carmera Thomas/CBF Staff

From the Desk of Josh Kurtz

Fall 2021

CBF Completes Another Large Oyster Project

When large-scale oyster restoration efforts began in the Chesapeake Bay in 2013, CBF was among the first organizations involved. This summer, CBF completed its second NOAA oyster restoration grant by planting tens of millions of oysters in the Little Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers.

During the previous eight years, CBF’s Maryland oyster team has planted about 162 million spat-on-shell oysters to fulfill the grants’ requirements. The work wasn’t done alone: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bolstered the tributaries’ sandy bottom with shell and stone substrates to brace the new oyster reefs while partner organizations planted millions more oysters in the tributaries.

So far, three of Maryland’s five tributaries identified for restoration have been completed or are near completion— Harris Creek, Little Choptank, and Tred Avon. Ongoing monitoring of the planted reefs has shown a remarkable rebirth among the once-degraded oyster reefs in the tributaries.

A study released in June by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) shows that natural oyster habitat—the vertical reef structure that is important to other Bay creatures—is returning to restored areas.

Public Support Needed for New Tree Program

Several state agencies are gearing up to plant five million new trees in Maryland after legislation became law in June. But to make this program a success, state employees will need the public’s assistance to find planting sites.

The planting effort calls for 500,000 trees to be planted in urban areas and the remainder to go onto rural or agricultural land during the next decade.

CBF advocated strongly for the new law’s passage during the legislative session, but now the focus is shifting to recruiting landowners and local leaders who have land suitable for tree plantings.

In urban areas, ideal locations include city blocks where new trees will help reduce heat islands and stormwater, as well as beautify communities. In rural areas, trees help reduce polluted runoff from farm fields. More information about the program is expected to be released during the next year.

—Josh Kurtz
Maryland Executive Director
Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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