Oysters, Striped Bass, and Crabs – Commercial Authorizations – Suspensions and Revocations
Sponsored by: Senator Bailey
Agriculture – Maryland Food and Agricultural Resiliency Mechanism Grant Program – Expansion
Sponsored by: Senator West
Expanding the Maryland Food and Agricultural Resiliency Mechanism Grant Program by making qualified nonprofit organizations that operate a farm or community garden that is on at least 250 acres, grows between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 pounds of produce annually, supplies agricultural food products to the State’s food banks and emergency food providers at no cost, and is conserved in a land conservation program eligible for grant funding; and establishing the Maryland Food and Agricultural Resiliency Operating Fund.
Aquaculture – Placement of Shellfish, Bags, Nets, and Structures on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation – Extension
Sponsored by: Chair, Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee (By Request – Departmental – Natural Resources)
Extending to June 30, 2027, the authorization of a leaseholder of certain aquaculture leases to, with prior written approval from the Department of Natural Resources, place shellfish, bags, nets, and structures on submerged aquatic vegetation, subject to certain requirements; and requiring, on or before June 1, 2025, and each June 1 for the next 2 years thereafter, the Department to report certain information to the Aquaculture Coordinating Council, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and the General Assembly.
Shellfish Aquaculture – Harvest Hours
Sponsored by: Delegate D. Jones
Repealing a restriction which prohibited the harvesting of shellfish between the hours of sunset and sunrise from certain areas leased for aquaculture; and requiring the Department of Natural Resources to establish by regulation the hours for harvesting shellfish within leased areas.
Natural Resources – Recreational Catching of Oysters or Clams – Requirements
Sponsored by: Delegate Boyce
Altering certain authorizations to recreationally catch clams in the State; establishing a recreational oyster license; requiring the Department of Natural Resources to develop and publish an application form for obtaining a recreational oyster license; requiring an applicant for a recreational oyster license to be at least 16 years of age; establishing requirements for the application for and issuance of a recreational oyster license; authorizing the Department to designate a certain agent to sell a recreational oyster license; etc.
Agriculture – Confinement of Egg-Laying Hens in Commercial Egg Production – Prohibitions
Sponsored by: Delegates Terrasa, Lehman, Allen, Bagnall, Cardin, Embry, Fair, Feldmark, Foley, Holmes, J. Long, McCaskill, Palakovich Carr, Patterson, Pena-Melnyk, Rosenberg, Ruth, Solomon, Stein, Stewart, Wells, Wilkins, and Wu
Prohibiting a certain farm owner or operator from knowingly confining egg-laying hens in an enclosure in a certain manner, subject to certain exceptions, on and after January 1, 2026; prohibiting a business owner or operator or a farm owner or operator from selling shell eggs or egg products under certain circumstances on and after January 1, 2026; and specifying that a certain certification be obtained in a certain manner to sell shell eggs and egg products.
Department of Agriculture – Licensing, Registration, Fees and Penalties, and Regulation
Sponsored by: Chair, Environment and Transportation Committee (By Request – Departmental – Agriculture)
Altering and establishing renewal and reinstatement processes for horse establishment licenses; establishing certain duties and administrative penalties with respect to beekeeping activities; altering the administrative penalty structure for certain violations related to nutrient management plans; and altering the renewal process and fee structure for the registration of weights and measures.
Economic Development – Maryland Watermen’s Microloan Program – Eligibility
Sponsored by: Delegates T. Morgan, Addison, Allen, Boyce, Jacobs, Lehman, J. Long, Love, and Ruth
Expanding eligibility for the Maryland Watermen’s Microloan Program within the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation to include, starting July 1, 2025, individuals who are residents of the State and hold a commercial fishing license to catch finfish, crabs, clams, or oysters issued by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission; and repealing a requirement that a loan made under the Program be at least $7,000 and not more than $15,000.