(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA)—Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam today signed two bills that will help support Virginia's oyster and clam aquaculture industry and others who use Virginia's tidal waters. One bill introduced by Del. Chris Stolle aims to alleviate conflicts in the Lynnhaven River among the many stakeholders who use the waterway. A second bill introduced by Sen. Monty Mason modernizes state code and improves the review of lease applications for aquaculture operations.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement.
"This is a step forward for Virginia's growing aquaculture industry and everyone else who enjoys spending time on our tidal waters. Oyster farming is not only good for the local economy, it also benefits the environment by filtering water and creating habitat for other species. Aquaculture plays a key part in the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance's efforts to add 10 billion new oysters to the Bay.
"Stakeholders from a host of different perspectives came together to reach consensus on a number of issues contained in these bills. Thank you to Governor Northam and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler for supporting Virginia's aquaculture industry and forming the Clam and Oyster Aquaculture Work Group, on which CBF was pleased to serve. Thank you to Delegate Chris Stolle and Senator Monty Mason for introducing these key pieces of legislation supporting the recommendations of the work group."