Aquaculture and Industry Enhancement Division


Aquaculture Updates

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to host aquaculture workshop March 21, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, Regulatory Branch, in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Aquaculture and Industry Enhancement Division, is hosting a virtual workshop March 21, 2019, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. In close partnership with Maryland DNR, our Regulatory Program authorizes shellfish aquaculture projects in the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Bays and their tidal tributaries in Maryland.

This workshop is aligned with ongoing efforts to provide the regulated public with information regarding the permit application/leasing process, key considerations when developing a shellfish aquaculture project, pre-construction notification requirements, siting and navigation considerations, compliance with permit conditions, and coordination with adjacent property owners. The workshop will also provide a venue for comments and feedback for consideration by the Corps and DNR about the shellfish aquaculture/leasing process.

While the workshop will be virtual, information presented will be streamed at two physical locations: the Maryland DNR Tawes State Office Building (conference room #1, main floor in lobby) in Annapolis, and at the Corps Easton Field Office in the Talbot Town Shopping Center. Space is limited for the Easton location, so please notify us in advance to reserve a space.

Webinar details if logging in from home or elsewhere:

Join Webex meeting: 
Meeting number: 964 903 769    
Meeting password: 1234

For the audio:
1-888-557-8511 Call-in toll-free number (ATT Audio Conference)
Access Code: 963 360 1

Contact Mr. Woody Francis by phone at 410-935-3921 or by e-mail at to reserve a space for the Easton office location or if you have any questions.

For more information on aquaculture in Maryland, visit Baltimore District's aquaculture web page:  

New Shellfish Aquaculture Application Tools

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has launched a new set of online tools to help educate and engage the public on proposed aquaculture lease applications. The tools, which include an application tracking list and email notification system, provide information on pending and proposed commercial shellfish lease applications when they are received by the department. Please click here to view the full press release.

Oyster Aquaculture​ Education and Training Programs

The University of Maryland Extension's Aquaculture Program routinely offers a range of evening and day-long workshops as well as in-depth short courses and other educational events that are designed to provide leaseholders or prospective lease applicants with the knowledge and training needed to enhance your operation or enter the industry. For more information, please visit the University of Maryland Extension Aquaculture Page and for regular event updates, subscribe to their Facebook Page.

US Army Corps of Engineers Reinstates Nationwide Permit #48 for Aquaculture Activities​

The Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has reinstated the suspended 2012 Nationwide Permit #48 (NWP #48) with revised regional conditions for new and existing commercial shellfish aquaculture activities in Maryland tidal waters. NWP #48 replaced the expired Regional General Permit-1 for commercial aquaculture activities, and is a required Federal permit issued in conjunction with State shellfish aquaculture leases for those who wish to farm shellfish in Maryland waters. The reinstated 2012 NWP #48 authorizes new and existing commercial shellfish aquaculture activities without acreage thresholds within Maryland waters pursuant to both Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In addition, several changes were made to the District’s aquaculture permit review processes. The reinstated NWP#48 and revised regional conditions became effective in Maryland waters as of August 16, 2016. For more information and to review the full Special Public Notice regarding the reinstatement of the 2010 NWP #48, please visit Baltimore District Public Notice 16-47.


US Army Corps of Engineers Maintenance Dredging

The Navigation Branch of the US Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District posts information about all proposed maintenance dredging projects on their web page. Because dredging activities have the potential to impact nearby leaseholders by temporarily elevating localized sedimentation and/or limiting lease access with dredge support vessels, leaseholders should review project plans and determine if it may be necessary to take precautionary measures to protect product and equipment.

Current public notices are displayed in chronological order on the website. Click on the specific project link for a full viewing of the public notice documents and its associated drawings (if any) and on the project manager's name to send an email comment directly to the Project Manager. Comments made in reference to a public notice should include your name, address, and phone number as well as the public notice number or application number on all correspondence to the District. 

To access the Corp's maintenance dredging project public notices, please visit the Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District's Navigation Branch website​.


Vibrio Bacteria Fact Sheet Available

The Maryland Department of the Environment has created a "Marylanders' Gu​ide to Skin Wounds and Water Contact"​ fact sheet that provides information about Vibrio bacteria that naturally occur in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and ways to protect yourself against infection.


Department of Natural Resources Aquaculture Electronic Notification System

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Aquaculture and Industry Enhancement Division maintains a leaseholder email notification service. Leaseholders who have an e-mail address on file with our Division will receive important information and announcements faster and in an eco-friendly way. Your email address remains confidential and will only be used for shellfish aquaculture related business. If you are an existing leaseholder and would like to sign-up, please send your name, lease number(s) and email address to or call 410-260-8648. You may remove yourself from the contact list at any time.


Department of Natural Resources Aquaculture Monthly Harvest Report Reminder

All leaseholders are reminded to check their records to make sure that monthly harvest reports are being submitted to the Department in a timely manner. Please recall that the terms of the Shellfish Aquaculture Harvester Permit (SAHP) require the primary Permittee/Leaseholder to submit a monthly harvest report to the Department even if you are not actively harvesting. Signed reports are due 10 days after the end of the month for which you are reporting. In order to keep your lease in active standing with the Department, please consult your records to ensure that you are in full compliance with our reporting requirements. Additional copies of the Harvest Report form may be printed from the "Fisheries Forms" page. If you are unsure if you are missing a report, please contact us to inquire about your status. Shellfish Aquaculture Harvester Permit renewal for 2019 may be delayed for those leases which still have missing 2018 reports at the end of this year.

Please promptly send any missing reports to:

Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services
Shellfish Aquaculture Harvest Report
580 Taylor Avenue E-4
Annapolis, MD 21401

Or you may fax reports to: 410-260-8310 Attn: Aquaculture Harvest Report.

If you have questions about monthly reporting, please contact Kari Bradberry at 410-260-8648.​​


2010 Shellfish Aquaculture Reform

​View the entire 2010 regulatory package for aquaculture reform published in the July 2, 2010 issue of the Maryland Register here.