ANNAPOLIS, Maryland --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District’s Regulatory Branch, in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Aquaculture and Industry Enhancement Division, is hosting a virtual aquaculture program workshop March 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
While the workshop will be virtual, information presented will be streamed at two physical locations: the Maryland DNR Tawes State Office Building (conference room #1, main floor in lobby) in Annapolis, and at the Corps Easton Field Office in the Talbot Town Shopping Center (218 N. Washington St., suite 304, Easton). Space is limited for the Easton location, so please notify us in advance to reserve a space.
In close partnership with Maryland DNR, Baltimore District’s Regulatory Program authorizes shellfish aquaculture projects in the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Bays and their tidal tributaries in Maryland. The joint process requires submission of an application in order to receive both an aquaculture lease from Maryland DNR and a permit from the Corps in order to place structures (buoys, floats, nets, etc.) in navigable waterways, as well as make discharges of materials into waterways (seeding, rearing, cultivating, etc.).
“This workshop is aligned with our ongoing efforts to provide the regulated public with necessary information regarding the aquaculture program in Maryland,” said Woody Francis, Baltimore District, Regulatory Branch program manager. “This workshop will also provide a venue for comments and feedback for consideration about the shellfish aquaculture/leasing process.”
Workshop topics include the permit application/leasing process, key considerations when developing a shellfish aquaculture project, pre-construction notification requirements, siting and navigation considerations, compliance with permit conditions and coordination with adjacent property owners. There will be a question and answer opportunity following the presentation.
“We recognize that oyster aquaculture is a critical component to the economic and environmental health of our region, and we are in ongoing conversations with our partners to find ways to make our processes better in order to achieve a balance between the development of these important projects and the protection of our natural resources,” said Francis.
Webinar details can be found on Baltimore District's aquaculture web page.