“No Shell Left Behind” Testimony Urges Solutions to Maryland’s Urgent Oyster Restoration Needs in the Chesapeake Bay

MEDIA ADVISORY

Annapolis, Maryland – The Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) is supporting the first-ever oyster shell recycling legislation in Maryland by highlighting the urgent need for recycled oyster shells to aid in Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration during a Maryland House of Delegates Ways & Means Committee hearing held today, February 19, beginning at 1pm. Other organizations will also testify including various Shell Recycling Alliance members and ORP’s bay restoration partners.

“This bill will offer an opportunity for the citizenry and business alike to make a tangible difference in the health of theChesapeake Bay,” said Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty, (Democrat District 42 Baltimore County), the bill’s sponsor. “Recycled shell is an urgent need forMaryland’s large-scale oyster restoration efforts.”

“Oyster shell is a necessary component for oyster restoration in theChesapeake Bayand also needed for aquaculture and the wild fishery,” said Stephan Abel, Executive Director for the Oyster Recovery Partnership. “No shell should end up in a landfill.”

WHAT:
Ways & Means Committee Hearing (HB184): Income Tax Credit, Oyster Shell Recycling
This bill will provide a tax credit for those individuals and businesses who help to grow the oyster population by recycling used oyster shells.

WHO:
(Link to Streaming Video of Testimony: http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/House/Play/e2b9267e9e824774901c5a16b3c0e0421d?catalog=03e481c7-8a42-4438-a7da-93ff74bdaa4c)
Testimony by:
Stephan Abel, Oyster Recovery Partnership
Ken Paynter,University of Maryland, Paynter Labs
Karl Willey,Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Robert T Brown, Maryland Watermen’s Association
Issac Meyer, Chesapeake Bay Savers
Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen Owner, SRA Member
Black’s Restaurant Group, SRA Member
ChadWells, Rockfish Restaurant Executive Chef, SRA Member
Joe or Tracy McGovern, Stan and Joes Restaurant Owners, SRA Member
Sophia Abel,Chesapeake Montessori School, Student

WHEN:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Maryland House of Delegates Office Building, Ways & Means Committee Room 131, Annapolis, MD
(Senate Hearing: February 27 at 2pm on 3rd Floor of Senate Miller Building, Budget & Taxation Committee, Room 3W, Annapolis, MD.)

CONTACTS:
Del. Stephen W. Lafferty: (410) 841-3487
Heather Epkins, Oyster Recovery Partnership: (443) 871-7131 or hepkins@oysterrecovery.org

Visit www.oysterrecovery.org for more information on the efforts and importance of oyster restoration inMaryland.
The non-profit Oyster Recovery Partnership and its coalition of partners have been growing and planting hundreds of millions of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay each year. ORP has rehabilitated over 1,500 acres of once viable oyster reefs and recycled more than 1,200 tons of oyster shell.