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McAuliffe visits Mathews to get look at oyster sanctuary in Piankatank River

Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited Mathews County last week to check on the progress being done to construct an oyster sanctuary in the Piankatank River, a joint project of The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

McAuliffe and other officials cruised out from Narrows Marina on Gwynn’s Island to the oyster sanctuary on a VMRC boat captained by Mathews resident Vernon Rowe, after first taking the time to greet island residents and marina owners Preston and Anna Jenkins.

Not only did McAuliffe visit the oyster sanctuary, but he also accepted a contribution of $500,000 from Michael Litford, executive director of The Nature Conservancy, for the new reef.

McAuliffe hailed the sanctuary reef as an example of a successful public/private partnership. He said the project is “about jobs, waterways, tours, and everyone working together.” But it only works, he said, “if we all walk away feeling like winners.”

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