Richmond, VA – Oyster growers in Virginia’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay can now apply for $260,000 in funding through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to help restore oyster beds on private shellfish grounds.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is expanding its six-year aquaculture collaboration with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) to support Bay water quality improvements and create habitat for oysters, fish, and other wildlife. The new partnership project will provide $776,284 in dedicated RCPP funding and resources to restore about 40 acres of privately leased oyster beds.
“VMRC has helped restore thousands of acres of public oyster beds by planting new shells and implementing harvest and maintenance strategies to minimize disease impacts,” says Andrew Button, Department Head Conservation and Replenishment, VMRC. “This project is designed to transfer that knowledge to farmers with private leases and achieve long-lasting benefits that extend well beyond the life of the lease.” [Read more…]