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Opinion: Oyster farmers of the Chesapeake Bay breathe hopeful sigh of relief after Conowingo Dam decision

February 23, 2023

Oyster aquaculture is a growing industry in the state of Maryland. Similar to watermen, these intrepid individuals and companies utilize the water column or bottom of the Bay to cultivate and harvest farmed oysters. The industry has achieved steady growth since the allowance for aquaculture leases in 2010. In turn, generating new jobs and economic multipliers. One major contributor to pollution in the Bay and cause of subsequent harmful impact on its natural resources is the Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam (formerly owned by Exelon Generation Company, LLC, now Constellation Energy). Since beginning operations more than 90 years ago, the dam has blocked fish from traveling upstream to spawn and eels that carry the larvae of freshwater mussels. This has significantly reduced the millions of fish that once traveled up the Susquehanna River and impaired the filtration capability of freshwater mussel populations.

Article Source: Maryland Matters

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