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Shellfish Aquaculture Coming to Delaware

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REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's status as the only state on the East Coast that does not have a shellfish aquaculture industry is about to end.

A bill to be signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell creates a new commercial shellfish aquaculture that officials say could provide economic benefits while improving water quality in Delaware's inland bays.

The bill authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to direct and control aquaculture activities within the Inland Bays and to set criteria for leasing sites.

It also gives DNREC authority over determining what species of shellfish may be cultured and where, and in establishing criteria for importing shellfish for aquaculture purposes in order to protect wild shellfish.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.