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Letter: An oyster aquaculture preservation bill

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

SB 1190 was approved by the Virginia Senate and then tabled by the House of Delegates on Wednesday, Feb 16. This important bill is worthy of all of our support to make sure that what has happened in York County to stop oyster aquaculture cannot happen in the rest of Virginia.

Here is what the bill does:

—Clarifies that aquaculture is a form of agriculture, so that anyone that lives in a zoning district that allows agriculture (raising crops or livestock) can conduct aquaculture (raising oysters, etc.);

—Grants permission for owners of docks that are attached to their waterfront property, already zoned for agriculture, to conduct aquaculture at their dock.

Here is what SB 1190 does not do:

—Allow anyone to build anything on their land;

—Allow processing of seafood; allow sales or purchases to take place on land or docks;

—Allow docks to be modified;

—Allow oyster farms to stink up the neighborhood;


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