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2017 Legislative Accomplishments



The BaySavers, along with your support, were able to protect and ultimately SAVE our Bay’s vital oyster population!

Commercial interests wanted to open up the Bay’s oyster sanctuaries and TAKE the oysters that have been placed there with millions of YOUR taxpayer dollars.

When this was announced, the Chesapeake BaySavers went to work. WE drafted House Bill 924 to stop them. WE obtained the sponsors in the legislature. On YOUR behalf! WE had the necessary meetings to lobby the bill through and it ultimately PASSED! Ensuring the protection of our sanctuaries for another year. It could not have been done without your contributions and support!

YOU SHOULD BE PROUD! Your children and our future generations thank you!

2017 Legislative Summit Recap

Our 2017 Environmental Legislative Summit was a huge success!

The summit was widely attended by nonprofits, students, local businesses, environmental professionals and concerned citizens. Our discussion topics ranged from how Maryland plans to protect the Chesapeake Bay in the face of budget cuts, all the way to the public health implications of environmental policy.

Our hope with this Summit is to open new lines of communication between the environmental sector and the legislature. By bringing together government officials and their constituents in a forum for discussion, we strive to create fertile ground for the success of legislation that will help protect, preserve and restore our beloved Chesapeake Bay.

We can’t wait to see what this year’s legislative session will have in store for Chesapeake Bay policy. Keep an eye open for information regarding our 2018 Environmental Legislative Summit!


House Bill 924 – Natural Resources – Oyster Management – Prohibited Actions

  • The Oyster Advisory Commission (OAC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are considering a proposal to open-up nearly 1,000 acres of Maryland’s protected oyster sanctuaries to harvest
  • Passing HB 924 will prevent the DNR from opening protected oyster sanctuaries to harvest or making any adjustments to oyster sanctuary boundary lines
  • There is currently a stock assessment of the oyster population being conducted and is to be completed by 2018 – any alteration of oyster sanctuaries will jeopardize the accuracy of the stock assessment
  • Once you open a sanctuary up to harvest, it is no longer a sanctuary!
  • Taxpayers have put MILLIONS of dollars into creating and placing oysters in sanctuaries  opening sanctuaries up for watermen to harvest would be a waste of taxpayer money
  • Not passing this bill will allow for DNR to make any changes to oyster sanctuaries they want, including creating a rotational harvest this upcoming oyster season!


House Bill 1488 Tidal Fish Licenses Oyster Authorizations  Revocation

  • This allows for watermen to apply to be reinstated after two years of having their license revoked for egregious commercial oyster harvesting violations
  • The Maryland General Assembly worked hard over many years to put the laws in place that created substantial penalties to protect Maryland’s commercial fisheries
  • Passing of this bill would make punishment be only a suspension

HB 1281/ SB 390 Oyster Poaching Administrative Penalties Gear Violations

  • Passing this bill reduces the penalties an offender faces for violating oyster harvest restrictions in state water