J. Adam Frederick, Assistant Director for Education and National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) National Office Coordinator
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Suite 236, Columbus Center
701 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 234-8850
Catherine Frederick, RAS-N Extension Specialist
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, University System of Maryland
Smithville is a community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. A century ago, Smithville had more than 100 residents. Today, it has four, in two homes: an elderly couple, and one elderly woman and her son, who cares for her.
Oyster aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry in Maryland’s Chesapeake waters which stimulates economic activity and may provide a host of ecosystem benefits. A potential concern associated with the intensification of the oyster aquaculture is the local production and accumulation of oyster biodeposits, which can lead to a porewater sulfide accumulation and declining bioturbation, symptoms of declining ecosystem function. Sulfide is naturally removed from the seafloor by the interactions between bioturbating infauna and sulfide oxidizing bacteria.