BOX 6.1
Chronology of Oyster Restoration Management in the Chesapeake Bay

1914 First experiments with transplanting oyster seed in Maryland

1921 First experimental shell-planting project in Maryland

1922 Maryland initiates shell-planting program

1927 Watermen’s Advisory Committee formed in Maryland

1927 Maryland dedicates funding for shell-planting/oyster rehabilitation program

1928 Virginia initiates shell-planting program

1943 Maryland Board of Natural Resources is created

1943 Maryland BNR Oyster Management Plan developed (seed areas and seed planting)

1960 Maryland initiates oyster repletion program

1960 Maryland initiates shell-dredging program (fossil shell)

1961 Department of Tidewater Fisheries is given authority over natural oyster reefs

1963 Potomac River Fisheries Commission is established

1969 Maryland Department of Natural Resources is created by legislation

1988 Virginia convenes Blue Ribbon Oyster Panel

1989 Chesapeake Bay Oyster Management Plan

1990 Oyster Disease Research Program is established (NOAA/Sea Grant)

1991 Maryland establishes surcharge to fund repletion program

1992 Virginia’s Blue Ribbon Oyster Panel reports recommendations to VMRC

1993 Virginia uses selected hatchery-reared larvae (disease resistance)

1993 Maryland convenes Oyster Roundtable

1993 Maryland develops the Oyster Roundtable Action Plan

1993 Chesapeake Bay Policy for Introducing Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

1994 Maryland initiates hatchery production of larvae

1994 Chesapeake Bay Oyster Management Plan is revised

1994 Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Reef Habitat Plan is adopted

1994 Maryland Oyster Recovery Partnership (broad partnership)

1999 Virginia Oyster Heritage Program (broad program goals and participants, funding)

2000 Chesapeake 2000 Agreement is developed

2002 Draft Comprehensive Oyster Management Plan

SOURCE: Modified from Tarnowski, 1999.

reef restoration and the recovery of oyster resources does not directly equate with the overall recovery of Chesapeake Bay, but successful oyster reef restoration is a major component of returning the ecosystem to a more productive condition and should be linked with other ongoing efforts to improve conditions in the bay.

Current programs to restore native oyster populations seek to identify successful management strategies and measure performance in terms of functionality. The oyster industry has long held that successful restoration could be measured by increased harvests, a perspective that has influenced fishery management policies for decades. Although increased economic benefit derived from increased landings is a legitimate measure

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