Oyster Restoration Resumes in Tred Avon River Sanctuary
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, along with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oyster Recovery Partnership, resumed oyster restoration on approximately 10 acres in the Tred Avon River sanctuary, April 18, 2017.Work is starting at a site near Pecks Point, which is at the southern end of the Tred Avon River sanctuary. By May 31, 2017, the Corps is planning to restore 8.4 acres of oyster reefs at four sites in water depths between 6.5 and 9 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) and a 1.7-acre site in water depths between 9 and 20 feet MLLW (view attached map). Reefs will be restored to a height of 1 foot using mixed shell (quahog and surf clam shell) from Atlantic Coastal fisheries in New Jersey.
The Corps found no significant impacts through an Environmental Assessment (EA) published in November 2016 in allowing oyster restoration into water depths between 6.5 and 9 feet MLLW in the Tred Avon River oyster sanctuary. Quality-control procedures have also been put in place to ensure that there is 6 feet of navigational clearance above all constructed reefs. Efforts include ensuring contractors use a consistent bucket size for reef material deployment and marking the depth on the bucket cable as an additional visual cue.
Reefs will receive a planting of spat-on-shell (baby oysters) in spring/summer 2017 following construction.
The 10 acres of restoration was included as an option as part of an approximately $ 1-million contract awarded Sept. 26, 2016, to Blue Forge LLC that entailed the restoration of eight acres of mixed-shell reef in water depths greater than 9 feet MLLW in the Tred Avon River sanctuary. The majority of this work was completed this winter; a small remaining portion will also be completed this spring. Blue Forge LLC is a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business. View news release from contract award: http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/Article/1030229/army-corps-resumes-oyster-restoration-in-tred-avon-river-sanctuary/.
There is a total of 78 acres of reef restoration work identified in the Tred Avon River Oyster Restoration Tributary Plan, plus placement of spat-on-shell on an additional 69 acres of existing low-density oyster reefs, for a total of 147 acres.