Scientists from NCCOS and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center were selected by the Chesapeake Bay Program Water Quality Goal Implementation Team, along with university researchers, federal, state and local resource managers, to serve on the Oyster Best Management Practice Expert Panel. The charge to the 13 member panel, conducted by the Oyster Recovery Partnership, is to evaluate the potential and feasibility of using oysters as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for nutrient removal in Chesapeake Bay based on available science.
The panel will also establish guidelines for nutrient removal crediting and verification to inform determination of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). To support achievement of those goals and provide recommendations by September 2016, the panel will: 1) work with stakeholders to identify and define oyster practices, such as aquaculture or restoration, which remove nutrients and evaluate whether existing science confirms reduction effectiveness; 2) develop a pollutant removal crediting decision framework; and 3) use that framework to provide removal effectiveness estimates for one or more oyster practice. The removal estimates will support the inclusion of the most effective oyster practices in the 2017 Chesapeake Bay TMDL Midpoint Assessment.