MD group behind 'No Shell Left Behind' oyster bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A Maryland oyster conservation group is supporting a "No Shell Left Behind" recycling bill. The bill would provide a dollar a bushel tax credit for recycled oyster shells.

House lawmakers are holding a hearing Tuesday in Annapolis on the bill, which would cap the tax credit at $750 a year. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Josh Davidsburg says the department supports the legislation.

Area chefs are expected to testify along with oyster conservation groups and watermen. Oyster shells are needed for restoration efforts because young oyster raised in hatcheries prefer to attach to adult oyster shells, which are in short supply. The bill is being supported by the Oyster Recovery Partnership, which organizes a shell recycling effort involving restaurants, wholesalers and others.

The bill would take effect July 1.

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