NOTICE TO MARYLAND COMMERCIAL WATERMEN

Forms for 2008-2009 Oyster Shell Rehabilitation
And Land Based Projects


The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking qualified watermen to assist in public oyster bar rehabilitation and land based projects for 2008-2009, as developed in conjunction with the Maryland Watermen's Association.

Recognizing the challenges facing your industry and the Bay's crab population, earlier this year Governor Martin O'Malley worked with the members of the General Assembly to set aside $3 million in capital funding for work projects to help mitigate your economic losses while also helping to restore oyster habitat and populations.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 31, 2008. Late applications will not be considered.

A minimum of five (5) working days will be guaranteed to all watermen that are accepted and who enter into the program

Get the form and print it out.

Deadline for Submission: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2008 (applications received after this date will not be considered)

Notices of acceptance to be distributed: November 5, 2008

Please see attached forms to state your interest to do work on the public oyster shell cleaning and rehabilitation projects or land based projects for 2008-2009. This work is funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in conjunction with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) and the Maryland Watermen’s Association (MWA). The amount of work we are able to provide will depend upon the amount of funding allocated to the project and the number of watermen who apply. We anticipate a large response, but we will not be able to determine who is accepted and for how long until all applications are submitted. Those selected will be notified by MD DNR or a designated representative via a letter and a phone call.

Work will occur in two time frames and in 5-9 areas around Chesapeake Bay. The first water based work period will start in early November and continue for about two weeks. The second water based work period will start in spring, 2009. Land based work will also have fall 2008 and spring 2009 components. The fall component will begin in early November. Land-based work will consist of habitat restoration work in Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. This work will consist of projects that will contribute to improved water quality including wetland restoration and enhancement, tree planting and sediment control projects. A minimum of five (5) working days will be guaranteed to all watermen that are accepted into the work program. Boat Captains will receive $500 per day (which includes fuel and all related costs) and crewman $150 per day. Captains who wish to provide their own crew must submit both applications together. Land based work will pay $15 per hour.

Please read the form carefully and fill it out completely before faxing, hand carrying, or mailing it to the ORP office. Mark the type of work and river systems with which you are most familiar. Oyster bar rehabilitation may take place in more than one river system concurrently so please mark your preference(s).

If more boats and crewmen are available than are needed for a particular project, the preference will be given to those licensed Captains and crew who (ranked in order): 1) actively crabbed in Maryland in 2008 and 2) all other watermen with a Maryland TFL license.

A secondary selection preference will be given to those watermen who are located in the region of and most directly impacted by the crab restrictions and who have experience in oyster power dredging operations. Lastly, if more boats and crewmen are available than funding permits, selection will be done via lottery.

You will not be eligible to participate in the program if, starting January 1, 2007, you have a violation for working over an oyster line, a time violation of one half hour before or after the start/finish time, or a cull violation in excess of 15% while harvesting oysters. If you have received any violations related to crab harvest in 2008 you will not be eligible to participate. Pending violations need to be satisfied with a not guilty verdict or PBJ before you will be allowed to participate.

By submitting an application for the water based assistance program you are agreeing to the conditions put in place by the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Maryland Watermen’s Association. Program managers or Natural Resource Police officers will be on station and be allowed to board and inspect your boat at any time and will be doing so to ensure that these rules are being abided by. In addition, if you participate in the program, you agree to voluntarily undergo a drug test should your name be randomly selected. All testing would be conducted at laboratories certified by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

NO OYSTERS, CRABS OR ANY OTHER SEAFOOD ARE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE WORK AREA OR TAKEN ASHORE BY ANY INDIVIDUAL UNDER PENALTY OF ELIMINATION FROM THIS AND FUTURE RESTORATION PROGRAMS.

Get the form and print it out.

Please return the forms to us as soon as possible and no later than October 31, 2008 as this project is scheduled to get underway first part of November. Those selected will be notified of the starting date. Please mail or fax the response forms to:

Oyster Recovery Partnership
1805 A Virginia Street,
Annapolis, MD, 21401
Tel: 1-866-952-3305
Fax: 1-866-230-5509


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