****February 9th UPDATE**** - Baltimore County Council unanimously passes resolution to support state legislation to protect Man O War Shoal. Click Click Here to view the full resolution.
January 25th, 2022
Crandell, Marks Introduce Resolution to Support Protection of Man O War Shoal
Baltimore County Councilmen Todd Crandell and David Marks have introduced a resolution urging the Maryland General Assembly to enact legislation that would protect the Man O War Shoal from dredging.
The 450-acre shoal, located off Baltimore County's waterfront, is the last relic oyster reef in the Upper Chesapeake Bay. This shoal includes approximately 100 million bushels of buried oyster shell, which occurs in layers below the surface, along with mud, sand, shells and cobble.
From 1960 to 2006, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources allowed for as many as 200 million bushels of buried oyster shell to be dredged from the upper and barged to the southern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Those operations significantly depleted upper Bay shell deposits, and now the Board of Public Works can approve plans to cut into Man O War Shoal and remove oyster shells, weakening the core of the shoal.
"We are urging the Maryland General Assembly to prohibit the dredging in this critical region of the Upper Chesapeake Bay," Councilman Crandell mentioned. "Earlier efforts failed to restore oyster populations for the long term, and we are asking that the legislature act now to ensure the future vitality of this critical and unique natural resource." Councilman Crandell is lead sponsor of the resolution.
“Man O War Shoal is an important fishing and crabbing location for many who leave out of Baltimore County," Councilman Marks added. “For crabbers, this shoal provides important relief from a silted in bottom that was left behind by previous dredging. We need to maintain this area in its current state and focus on other investments and actions that can rebuild oyster populations in the lower Bay."
“Three dimensional reefs provide a vital role in the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay, and in the Upper Chesapeake Bay, Man O War Shoal provides an important refuge from the impacts of silt laden run-off,” said David Sikorski, executive director of CCA Maryland. “Anglers, boaters and local waterman all utilize the area throughout the year, and at CCA Maryland we believe in building habitat, not destroying it, Man O War must be protected once and for all."
For more information -
Councilman Todd Crandell, 410-887-3383
Councilman David Marks, 443-845-5188