Over the past few years, the BaySavers strongly advocated for money in the Governor’s Capital Budget for additional support for the Native Oyster Restoration Master Plan. We feel strongly as outlined in our mission that oyster restoration must be prioritized in order to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Oyster restoration is not inexpensive and at a time when the State’s budget is tight and revenues were down, we fought hard to get this important funding.
In 2013, the Chesapeake BaySavers led the effort to pass Senate Bill 279/House Bill 184 which would create a tax credit for entities that recycled oyster shells. We found that the tax credit was needed in order to incentivize restaurants to hold onto the shells which are valuable and crucial in the growing of new oysters. The Oyster Recovery Partnership, our partner in this effort, picks up the shells and then uses the shells as a habitat for spat.
In 2014, The Chesapeake BaySavers supported and pushed Senate Bill 700/ House Bill 621 which established a fund for pesticide reporting database through a modest increase on the annual registration fee paid by pesticide chemical manufacturers. We feel strongly that the state having the knowledge of where all nonhomeowner pesticides are being used is a benefit to the public health or Marylanders and the overall health of the Bay.
The Chesapeake BaySavers worked to stop Senate bill 466/ House Bill 1155 which would allow commercial fisherman to power dredge in certain areas of the Chesapeake Bay, a practice that science shows aggressively disturbs the bay bottom. We were successful in making the argument that this practice would be harmful to our mission of working to revitalize the Bay through oyster restoration and protection.