Democratic candidate for Governor Creigh Deeds today announced several initiatives aimed at boosting the Eastern Shore's aquaculture industry.
Deeds unveiled his proposals as he toured the J.C. Walker Brothers, Inc., a local shellfish hatchery. Deeds' plan focused on improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and on the ocean side of the Shore by providing incentives for landowners to reduce runoff, a major source of pollution. Deeds said these incentives would provide a boost for shellfish production and would also help Virginia meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals.
"Improving water quality is not just an environmental issue, it's also a tremendous economic opportunity for the Eastern Shore," said Deeds. "Aquaculture is a $40 million per year business that employs hundreds of people in this region. We need to make sure we preserve our precious waterways for future generations, while capitalizing on sustainable shellfish harvesting and ecotourism, both of which depend on clean water and good stewardship of our natural resources.
"From the Eastern Shore to Cumberland Gap, my job as governor will be to create opportunity in all corners of the commonwealth. Investing in our aquaculture industry is a key part of creating economic opportunity."