SCD announces oyster aquaculture cost-share program

Sept. 6, 2023

The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) board of supervisors has approved a new cost-share program to increase oyster aquaculture in Sussex County. This program will provide an incentive payment per harvested oyster to fund nutrient reductions in the Inland Bays watershed. 

A single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. With almost 300 acres available to lease in the Inland Bays watershed this program has the potential to remove over 70,000 pounds of nitrogen from the bays. These nutrient reductions help Delaware meet its water quality goals.

“We recognize that our region is unique, farmers are not limited to growing crops in the soil, but also in our waterways. Our goal for this pilot program is to increase oyster aquaculture farming in the Inland Bays watershed and improve water quality,” says David Baird, district coordinator at SCD.

Applications for the oyster aquaculture cost-share program will be accepted year-round. Cost-share payments will be made quarterly, at $0.05 per harvested oyster, with a maximum annual payment for 150,000 oysters totaling $7,500.

For more information about the oyster aquaculture cost-share program, call 302-856-3990, ext. 3, or visit SCDs agriculture cost-share program page.