Note: We want to make it clear that our current oyster restoration efforts are focused on tributaries that have already been designated as permanent sanctuaries, not creating new permanent sanctuaries. The Corps of Engineers has no responsibility or authority to create sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay. The master plan identifies the best tributaries for restoration based on current physical and biological conditions.  Of these “Tier 1” tributaries, current and future restoration efforts by the Corps of Engineers are being focused on those tributaries, such as Harris Creek, that are already designated as permanent sanctuaries in Maryland. This approach is in keeping with the Corps’ ecosystem restoration mission and funding priorities.

Maryland and Virginia Oyster Restoration Master Plan

The Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan presents the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan for large-scale, sanctuary-based oyster restoration throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The master plan examines and evaluates the problems and opportunities related to oyster restoration, and formulates plans for implementing large-scale, Bay-wide restoration. Restoration plans recommended by USACE's master plan have been developed in coordination with the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC), and Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). 

The long-term goal is to restore an abundant, self-sustaining oyster population that performs important ecological functions such as providing reef community habitat, nutrient cycling, spatial connectivity, and water filtration, among others, and contributes to an oyster fishery.


If you have questions about the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan, please contact:


Sarah Lazo, Public Affairs Specialist



Patrick Bloodgood, Public Affairs Specialist