On Friday, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Oyster Recovery Partnership delivered 20 cages of oyster spat to the Chesapeake Montessori School in Annapolis, part of an educational program where students will monitor oyster growth in Whitehall Creek and learn about how water quality and the Chesapeake Bay watershed's health affect oyster development.
The Maryland Grows Oysters program was launched in 2008 as an effort to boost the population of the bay's oysters, which have been under severe environmental strain from overfishing and parasites. One recent study, according to The Washington Post, has called for a halt in oyster fishing in the Chesapeake altogether.
Maryland has been on a push to streamline the way it handles permitting for oyster aquaculture and the Army Corps of Engineers, which needs to OK such permits, has also changed the way it processes applications, according to the Bay Journal.
Recent severe flooding on the Susquehanna River and other tributaries that feed the bay have raised concerns about sediment damaging oyster beds, which play an important role in filtering the bay's water, according to the The Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
WATCH: Kids Help Save Chesapeake Bay By Planting Oysters