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Maryland Volunteer Oyster Program Expands

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Spats of oysters will begin be delivered to seven new locations in Maryland waterways.
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Spats of oysters will begin be delivered to seven new locations in Maryland waterways.

Seven tributaries are being added to a volunteer oyster growing program in Maryland.

The Department of Natural Resources says all seven applicants were accepted for the program this year. The applications came from the Bodkin, Oyster, Pope's and Crab Alley Creeks, as well as the Little Choptank and Rhode Rivers, and Swan Cove in Harris Creek.

Baby oysters, known as spat, will be delivered along with cages in September. The participants hang cages from private piers, rinse them about twice a month, and after nine months the oysters are planted in a sanctuary.   

The program started in 2008.  There are now 1500 growers in 24 tributaries, and they raised more than 2 million oysters last year.

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