RICHMOND. (AP) -- A federal plan to restore the native oyster to the Chesapeake Bay identifies 24 tributaries in Virginia and Maryland that provide the best potential to bring back a coveted hard-shell that has declined to less than 1 percent of historic highs.
The plan was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the federally directed effort to restore the environmentally battered estuary, the nation's largest. It concludes that 14 tributaries in Maryland and 10 in Virginia offer the best hope of restoring the bay oyster.
The tributary restoration and the creation of sanctuaries wouldn't be cheap to achieve: the Army Corps estimates the cost of building oyster beds, seeding and managing them range up to billions of dollars.