Oyster Shell and Substrate Taskforce

​​The Oyster Shell and Substrate Taskforce was created by Governor Moore under ​ executive order​​ 01.01.2023.12​ in response to Maryland's lack of oyster shell.

The principal functions of the Taskforce are to: ​
  1. Identify strategies and solutions to retain shell, increase abundance and create an overall additive situation for oyster substrate across the Chesapeake Bay; 
  2. Evaluate strategies based on the ability to meet the demand from the public fishery, aquaculture industry and restoration component in the near term and focusing on meeting needs for the growth of all three components; and 
  3. Evaluate the economic impacts substrate has on the State and develop recommendations that take into consideration costs and benefits for the fishery

The Taskforce will meet monthly and submit a report to the Governor containing recommendations for achieving a positive oyster shell and substrate environment by December 1, 2024.

Pursuant to language set forth in SB 830, Chapter 574(4) and HB 1228, Chapter 30(4) in 2022, (MSAR 14098) the Department of Natural Resources shall report to the Governor, in accordance with § 2-1257 of the State Government Article, the General Assembly on or before December 1, 2023 a report for substrate needs for oyster repletion, aquaculture, and restoration activities in the State over the next 10 years.  (b) The plan shall include:

  1. an estimate of the quantity of the substrate materials that will be needed and the purposes for which the substrate materials will be used;
  2. an overview of the full spectrum of substrate materials available;
  3. an analysis of the availability, sourcing, and relative cost of each substrate material;
  4. an estimate of the total and annual costs of implementing the plan; and
  5. opportunities for improving the cost-effectiveness of substrate acquisition and use, including opportunities for increasing coordination with the Commonwealth of Virginia, undertaking larger-scale projects to take advantage of economies of scale, and reducing mobilization and demobilization costs.
Final Report: Substrate Requirements for Oyste​r Management