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Oyster reef restoration funding available

Virginia watermen can now harvest additional resources to help replenish oyster stocks on private shellfish grounds through a long-standing collaboration between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and two key aquaculture partners.

Over the past four years, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Virginia Marine Resources Commission have leveraged their experience and resources with NRCS funding to help oyster farmers locate the best site(s) and shell sources for reef restoration on their leases. NRCS has provided $776,284 in financial assistance for 40 contracts with growers (14 in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021) and just renewed the project to sustain this forward momentum.

“This improved approach to aquaculture is helping to support spat-on-shell production and a growing population of the bivalves, fish and other wildlife in areas that have remained fallow for years,” said NRCS State Conservationist Dr. Edwin Martinez Martinez. “We are proud to continue providing V...

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