Inland Bays Center, Petitioners Meet To Discuss Oyster Farm - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Inland Bays Center, Petitioners Meet To Discuss Oyster Farm

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LONG NECK, Del. - Chris Sweeney is like many residents in the Malone's Marina community of Long Neck.

He's a boater, a fisherman and a family man.

But now, he's a petitioner against an oyster farm movement.

"I'm worried that the way of life down here, it's not going to be the way it used to be," said Sweeney.      

Within the next week, the Delaware Aquaculture Act is expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives. In a month, it could be adopted. After weeks of phone calls and a circulating petition, Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R) decided a town hall-style meeting was in order.
    
"I want to wait and hear from my constituents about their concerns so I can voice those and represent on the issues," said Rep. King.

Among those issues, the possibility of expanding the farm beyond the already proposed 261 acres. If a bill is passed, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays plans to ask for a permanent cap on leased areas.
     
"The report contains recommendations for where aquaculture would best be located in the Inland Bays to minimize conflicts with existing water uses," said executive director Chris Bason.

But folks like Sweeney remain skeptical.

"What's going to be there for my son, grandson?" asked Sweeney. "In my opinion, Wawa didn't start out to make one store. McDonald's didn't want one hamburger.

"When it's all about the dollar, it's all about the dollar."

Rep. King says a bill should be introduced within the next week by House Speaker Peter Schwarzkopf. Then, it would go to either the Agriculture or Natural Resources committee before being sent to the House for a vote.

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