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Better oyster harvest comes from cleaner Bay


Date published: 7/30/2014

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation also celebrates the good news about increasing oyster harvests in Virginia ["Va. for (oyster) lovers," July 25].

Burgeoning oyster numbers mean not only more hors d'oeuvres but more jobs and larger paychecks for watermen, seafood processors, shops and restaurants.

As The Free Lance-Star noted, the ripple effects through local economies are significant. That much of the increase in oysters is due to oyster aquaculture (oyster farms) is also good news, as aquaculture provides more certainty for watermen and allows the Chesapeake Bay's wild oyster population to continue to develop disease resistance, recover and grow.

And while good management by the state is critical to restore the bay's oyster population, so is the ongoing effort to reduce bay pollution.

Like fish and crabs, oysters need healthy oxygen levels, a balance of algae, and clean water free of sewage and toxic chemicals to thrive and be enjoyed by consumers.

So let's indeed celebrate the growing comeback of oysters but also speed efforts to reduce pollution from farms, streets, pipes and smokestacks.

Save the bay, and we'll save oysters and leave a legacy of clean water for our children and future generations.

Chris Moore

Norfolk

The writer is Virginia senior scientist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.