As Marylanders, one of the most well-known bodies of water is the Chesapeake Bay, and our favorite crustacean is the Maryland Blue Crab. Unfortunately, we also know that the Chesapeake Bay has been subject to much pollution throughout the years. However, funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had been granted that allows for work on the restoration of Chesapeake Bay health. Luckily for us, that means we can keep enjoying our favorite crab cakes!
The research is being conducted by Virginia State University’s Agricultural Research Station. They are working to figure out a sustainable way for farmers to reduce their environmental impact on the Chesapeake Bay fishing industry. This work involves removing harmful substances from the waterways such as phosphorus and nitrogen that have accumulated due to the use of dittmarite. Dittmarite is a fertilizer used by farmers that is good for the growth of crops, but unfortunately has harmful effects when wastewater runs off into the bay. High concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen create extreme algae growth, which can cover water bodies and deplete oxygen, ultimately harming the organisms living in those ecosystems.
To solve this issue, the research team plans to turn this wastewater back into helpful nutrients for farmers’ crops. They plan to design, build, and implement a pilot-scale module that will remove the dittmarite from the water. This work began in September of 2014, and will continue through August 2017, thanks to the three-year, $298,849 grant. The team will first work to remove dittmarite from aquaculture ponds on VSU’s campus. It will then be applied to VSU’s Randolph Farm horticultural crops as a fertilizer additive. Once this has been completed, the researchers will then propose their model to potential stakeholders to be used on a greater scale, in the Chesapeake Bay.
This is a great opportunity for the Chesapeake Bay health, the fishing industry, as well as farmers. The work of VSU’s Agricultural Research Station will provide a sustainable way to manage environmental impacts, and in turn, possibly increase revenue for farmers.
That’s great news for us at Box Hill Crab Cakes. Obviously, we love the Maryland Blue Crab and we know you do too! Located in Abingdon, Maryland, our crab cakes are available year round and can be ordered online to be shipped straight to your front door. Order online here or call us at (410)-515-3662. If you ever have any questions or comments about Box Hill or our Maryland crab cakes, use our contact form here.