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2015 Legislative Accomplishments

ON BEHALF OF OUR SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS, the BaySavers team has made many exciting strides in 2015:

Support for Oyster Restoration

Helped secure and protect millions of dollars in the Governor’s Budget for oyster restoration projects, including the Little Choptank and Harris Creek Sanctuaries

Increased Oyster Shell Recycling Tax Credit from $1/ bushel to $5/ bushel, encouraging shell recycling

Pushed and supported legislation to enhance the growing aquaculture industry, including measures to create adequate fee structures for licenses, establishing appropriate penalties for violations of leases, as well as budgetary support for the aquaculture industry

Year after year, we have continued our fight against the expansion of power dredging, which is detrimental to the oyster population

Successfully fought against legislation that would have placed a moratorium on the expansion of oyster sanctuaries in the Bay, as well as decimate them by reducing the shellfish density requirements for certification

Support for the Natural Resources Police (NRP)

We worked with the Natural Resources Police (NRP) to improve their capacity for law enforcement

Rejected harmful legislation that would have loosened penalties for convicted oyster poachers

Successfully fought against a bill that would have required the NRP to pull illegal gill nets within 24 hours of locating them- eliminating a key investigative strategy

Protected the use of important enforcement tools including the use of tracking devices on fishing vessels

IN ADDITION, BaySavers’ contribution of $10,000 to the DNR earlier in 2015 not only resulted in the end of an ongoing illegal fishing operation, but also marked the beginning of what we see as cooperation between non-profits and our government agencies to protect the state’s investment in oyster restoration and ensure appropriate allocation of fiscal resources for enforcement. SEE THE DAILY RECORD ARTICLE ABOUT BAYSAVERS’ CONTRIBUTION HERE

Other measures

Remain active in a coalition to address the use of pesticides in Maryland, including labelling and public information sharing measures to ensure public health

Supported legislation regarding public notice for Vibrio, a bacterium of growing concern in the Bay