Urge MD DNR: Don't Dredge Man-O-War Shoal!
One of our last remaining examples of what oyster reefs can and should look like in the Bay is at risk.
Man-O-War (MOW) Shoal, located near the mouth of the Patapsco River in Baltimore County, once supported a robust oyster population and currently serves as important fish habitat. But Maryland's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is planning to dredge millions of bushels of oyster shells from this critical resource. This dredging will provide little to no help to the oyster population but will harm critical habitat.
Please take a moment to lend your voice for this critical resource. Urge DNR Secretary Mark Belton to not dredge Man-O-War Shoal!
Alternative substrates for oyster restoration, such as granite, crushed concrete, and other material, perform better on sanctuary reefs and come at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, dredging MOW Shoal will cost taxpayers $20-25 million, draining precious funds from the state's oyster restoration budget.
We can't afford to lose this precious public resource. Add your name today and urge DNR Secretary Mark Belton to not dredge Man-O-War Shoal!
Sign PetitionSign Petition
Dear Secretary Belton,
Oysters are a keystone species in the Chesapeake Bay and a critical resource in the effort to protect and restore this national treasure. Man-O-War (MOW) Shoal, located near the mouth of the Patapsco River in Baltimore County, is the last remaining three-dimensional oyster reef in upper Chesapeake Bay. MOW Shoal once supported a robust oyster population and currently serves as important habitat for a number of commercial and recreational fish species.
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Proposals to dredge MOW Shoal are shortsighted and will inflict damage on both the Bay and the critters that call it home. While we need to escalate our efforts to restore the Bay's native oyster population, dredging the MOW Shoal will provide little help to the oyster population in Maryland. The current permit application does not say if the dredged shell will be used to help grow and harvest more oysters, or to help grow oysters protected from harvest, or both. Additionally, alternative substrates such as granite, crushed concrete, and other material perform better on sanctuary reefs and come at a fraction of the cost.
I urge you to reject any proposal to dredge MOW Shoal and to focus efforts on restoring the Bay's native oyster population through more sustainable methods, while leading Maryland as a strong, reliable, and determined partner in resurrecting the Bay's beloved bivalve.