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VMRC approves Milford Haven oyster cage proposal

Following a contentious meeting that lasted nearly five hours Tuesday, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted by a 4-2-2 margin to authorize placing up to 700 floating oyster cages on a 5.5-acre tract of leased waterway in Milford Haven.

Kevin Wade of Island Seafood applied for authorization for the aquaculture project on the Gwynn’s Island site, with his application protested by a number of nearby property owners.

The proposal has been controversial locally since its inception, with a movement led by Gwynn’s Island residents titled “Save The Haven, LLC,” formed to combat the project. Around 50 members of the group were in attendance at the meeting.

VMRC staff member Ben Stagg spoke first, laying out the physical details of the plans, including size, location, geography, and the fact that there were at least 125 formal complaints in the form of letters on file from private property owners.

During this time, two members of the commission, Chad Ballard...

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