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25 million oysters added to Severn River to improve water quality

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 17:26:19-04

The Oyster Recovery Partnership is doing what it can to keep Maryland waters clean, especially the Chesapeake Bay.

In the last decade, more than 90,000 people have moved into Anne Arundel County.

More development means more pollution in our water.

The Oyster Recovery Project wants to improve Maryland's water quality so they are planting as many oysters as they can.

Their latest project finds them adding 25 million oysters to the Severn River.

“Rivers because they are so close to development it actually ends up being, that's where you will see a significant amount of pollutants coming into the Bay,” said Ward Slacum, Executive Director of the Oyster Recovery Project.

One oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.

“Those oysters are basically filtering excess nutrients out of the water column,” Slacum said. “They're also providing additional shells for resources for blue crab and white perch to have a home and find cover.”

ORP has partnered with the Severn River Association to replenish the oyster reef in the Severn River that feeds our bay.

The Severn River Association has been around since 1911.

Jessie Iiff, Director of Severn River Association, said there's a reason so many people live and work our Chesapeake Bay region.

"People get out and they have clearwater that they can swim in,” Iiff said. “When they see their feet, when they are waist deep at the bottom of the water, that's the sort of thing that gets people excited and that's the sort of thing that lets us know that we're doing the good work.”

With this planting, that means it's four years in a row that the Oyster Recovery Partnership is planted in the Severn River, and that means more than 1 million oysters planted to help keep our river and obey clean.