Clam and Oyster Aquaculture Work Group

In August 2018, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler convened the Aquaculture Work Group to develop consensus-based recommendations to promote the sustainable growth of Virginia’s clam and oyster aquaculture industries.

Virginia’s environment and economy are benefiting from improved water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, its tidal tributaries, Virginia’s Potomac River tributaries, and the Seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Underwater grasses are more abundant; recreational enjoyment is on the rise; waterfront properties boost local government coffers; and the oyster industry is experiencing substantial regrowth.

Virginia is well positioned to promote further, sustainable growth of its clam and oyster economy by virtue of the extensive work being done to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution across the Commonwealth and by local governments and federal partners, private businesses, and many farmers.

The Work Group will focus their efforts on finding solutions to conflicts between shellfish growers and other uses, namely waterfront property owners, boaters and local governments. The Work Group will also explore how best to balance the shellfish economy with continued growth of underwater grasses.

The Aquaculture Work Group Members

  • The Honorable Stolle, House of Delegates
  • The Honorable Bloxom, House of Delegates
  • The Honorable Ransone, House of Delegates
  • The Honorable Lewis, Senate of Virginia
  • The Honorable Mason, Senate of Virginia
  • James Barnett, York County
  • Anne Ducey-Ortiz, Gloucester County
  • A.J. Erskine, Bevans Oyster Co.
  • Jay Ford, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Karen Forget, Lynnhaven River Now
  • Ann Gallivan, JC Walker Brothers
  • Kim Huskey, Ballard Fish & Oyster Co.
  • Rebecca Kubin, City of Virginia Beach
  • Robert Livengood, L&L Marine Inc.
  • Bo Lusk, The Nature Conservancy
  • Mike Oesterling, Shellfish Growers of Virginia
  • Chris Schellhammer, Property Owner