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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Oyster Shells on the Move

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013   

RICHMOND, Va. - It's the largest oyster-replenishment project in Virginia history. Barges carrying more than a billion fossilized oyster shells are being floated down the James River so the shells can be planted on some of the historically best grounds for growing new oysters, to provide habitat for natural oyster larvae to attach and grow.

According to Natural Resources Secretary Doug Domenech, the hope is there will be a big payoff when the new oysters can be harvested in several years.

"Oysters in Virginia are about a $8 million business now, and in fact last year we harvested the most oysters since 1989," he said.

Domenech says the empty oyster shells, that were mined beneath the James River near Jamestown, could fill about 4000 dump trucks.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission estimates every $1 spent by the state to plant oyster shells yields $7 in economic benefits. But Domenech said there's another big reason to do it.

"Oysters filter the Bay, so there's an economic benefit to this and an environmental benefit," he declared.

According to the governor's office, oyster-replenishment funding has ranged from zero to as much as $1.3 million over the past two decades, but this is the first time it has surpassed the $2 million mark.





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