Letter to Editor: Jay Jacobs Got it Right with “War on the Shore” Report Description

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Del. Jay Jacobs did set the record straight with regard to his War on Shore report description. He couldn’t have said it better. Some background is necessary. The Oyster Futures Workgroup was assembled from diverse cultural stakeholders. To which Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) was a participant. The OFG reviewed scientific models and made policy recommendations to the MDDNR with regard to the Choptank River complex. MDDNR accepted those recommendations.

This past legislature session saw CBF sponsoring a bill HB-298 that cut the knees off this groups time consuming hard work and rendered their time-consuming hard work useless. As a member of the Oyster Advisory Commission (OAC) CBF sponsored legislation each of the last 3 years that went behind the back of this culturally diverse group. Simply put, CBF felt it can act on its own, because it does not have control this multi stakeholder group created to advise on complex oyster issues.

The oyster mega-sanctuary network was sold to the seafood industry as a cure all. These sanctuaries would act as breeder reactors, naturally producing vast number of larvae that would spill over repopulate the oyster bars throughout the bay. Ten years later we have not seen any hard-scientific evidence of a signal or trigger that this phenomenon ever took place.

If CBF really wants to support Maryland’s oyster harvesting heritage then they should stop engaging in activities that promote the singling out of a culture and class of people for perpetual persecution.

Jim Mullin
Maryland Oystermen’s Association

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Letters to Editor

  1. Pete Buxtun says

    A couple of things here…

    CBF isn’t a member of the MD House, and therefore cannot “sponsor” anything.

    CBF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and as such cannot even contribute to political candidates.

    Stop using CBF as a scapegoat for the results of years of environmental degradation and scientifically unsound resource management. It’s far too soon to say that the sanctuary system isn’t performing; in fact, data from the Harris Creek restoration show improvement.

    Given the amount of public money spent on the sanctuaries, opening them would be tantamount to welfare for watermen. Additionally, there’s nothing stopping watermen from applying for leases INSIDE the sanctuaries and potentially benefitting from natural spat set.

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