Army Corps invites comment on Delaware shellfish aquaculture program

Published Jan. 23, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (January 22, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Philadelphia District today posted a proposal that would govern aquaculture in the Delaware Inland Bays and invited the public to comment.

The proposal would govern regulation of shellfish aquaculture in a region that includes Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assawoman Bay and Delaware’s portion of the Big Assawoman Bay.

The proposal and plans may be viewed online.

The Corps is soliciting comment from federal, state and local agencies as well as private citizens and groups with an interest in the program. 

Comments can be submitted within 30 days of this notice via email to: or in writing to the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3390.

The proposal is an attempt to simplify the permitting process in the Delaware Inland Bays. The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife has identified eight areas that it believes are suitable for shellfish aquaculture. This type of aquaculture involves putting out bags and cages and other gear to promote the cultivation of oysters or clams.

Each of the eight areas in the Bays is divided into  one-acre plots, adding up to a total of 442. Rather than require a separate application and review for each individual plot, the Army Corps is proposing that the area in its entirety be reviewed to ensure it meets both environmental and public interest standards as set forth in federal law. The proposal sets forth the conditions and standards that would have to be met in the Inland Bays program. Applications for  individual plots would then be submitted to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. 

Richard Pearsall

Release no. 15-004