ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Gov. Martin O'Malley is touting a record year for producing and planting native bay oysters in Maryland.
O'Malley talked about the latest efforts to revive Maryland's badly depleted oyster population at a news conference in Annapolis. Since 1994, the Chesapeake Bay's oyster population has been at about 1 percent of historic levels.
The University of Maryland Horn Point Lab Oyster Hatchery team in Cambridge produced 1.25 billion Eastern oyster spat this year. The state says that as a result, 750 million baby oysters have been planted at the Harris Creek Sanctuary, which is 377 acres.
The governor says state and federal agencies have expanded protected waters for oysters from 9 percent to 24 percent.
O'Malley adopted the state's Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan in 2010.
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