Chesapeake Bay Program Oyster Best Management Practice (BMP) Expert Panelists from NCCOS and from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center participated in the Open Feedback Meeting on Monday May 22, 2017 at the Potomac Fishery Commission building in Colonial Beach, VA. The intent was to review progress and receive comments from stakeholders on the nitrogen and phosphorus uptake by oysters and enhanced denitrification protocols for private oyster aquaculture and reef restoration practices that are under evaluation for potential crediting for nutrient removal. These protocols follow the approval of the use of harvested oyster tissue as a BMP in December, 2016. Panel co-leads, Ms. Julie Reichert (Oyster Recovery Partnership) and Dr. Jeff Cornwell (UMCES) presented details about progress that have been approved by the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Implementation Goal Team on May 18, 2017. They also presented a summary of feedback comments already received from stakeholders. The approximately 50 stakeholders and Panel members were divided into 3 breakout groups for consideration of stakeholder comments and for discussion of nutrient assimilation in oyster shell and enhanced denitrification associated with aquaculture operations and reef restoration. Specifically, the Panel requested comment on the approaches used to determine nutrient removal estimates, strategies to address concerns related to unintended negative consequences, input on verification of default nutrient removal estimates for these processes, and potential concerns of users and managers regarding how the Panel plans to proceed. The Oyster BMP Expert Panel will continue their evaluation with reports on the protocols for crediting assimilation of nutrients in shell and for denitrification losses associated with aquaculture and reef restoration anticipated for release in late 2017.
For more information contact Suzanne Bricker at Suzanne.Bricker@noaa.gov (NCCOS COL), Julie Rose at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org (NMFS NEFSC) or see www.oysterrecovery.org/