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Business venture hopes to restore oyster industry, clean the bay

Longtime waterman Ken Smith of Kilmarnock, is tired of waiting for government to come up with ways to restore the oyster industry and clean up the Chesapeake Bay, so he’s decided to take on the task himself as a private businessman.

"We have waited 35 years to get this bay clean," said Smith. "In 1994, we were promised we’d have a 10-fold increase by 2010. If the government can’t do it, we’re getting the private sector to do it."

Working with former real estate developer and company founder W. Tolar Nolley Jr. of North; Virginia Marine Resources Commission retiree Roy Insley of Poquoson; and Dr. Russell Burke of Gloucester Point, chief marine scientist for Commonwealth Pro Dive, Smith is launching the Oyster Company of Virginia, an eco-friendly business that he hopes will restore the native oyster and clean up the bay while putting watermen back to work as aquaculturists.

"Oysters have economic and ecological benefits," said...

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