Student Comment: The Revival of the Eastern Oyster and the Regulations that Hinder Restoration Efforts
by Collier Marsh, Editor in Chief
States deal with many difficult problems for which there are no clear solutions. They often enact regulations to solve these problems, but sometimes the regulations actually hinder their efforts. Two problems of interest, the struggling economy and the deteriorating environment, are often the subject of extensive government regulation. Meanwhile, the eastern oyster has the potential to redress both of these problems. As a valuable commodity, the oyster can boost the economy of coastal regions, and as a filter feeder, the oyster cleans water, benefitting the surrounding environment. The oyster has declined in recent years but aquaculture is a promising method to revive it. States, aware of the oyster aquaculture industry's promise, have implemented different regulatory scheme with varying degrees of success. This note will compare the successful regulatory regime of Virginia with the inefficient regime of Maryland. This note argues that although Maryland has made some recent changes to its oyster aquaculture regulations, these changes will not fix the system. This note then suggests additional changes Maryland can implement to effectively stimulate the oyster industry.