ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. - Almost a year after a large container ship ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay, the owner of the ship is going to have to pay up.
This week, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a plan requiring the owner of the container ship Ever Forward to pay $676,200 for the seeding and enhancement of oyster bars.
The decision follows a survey conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which found that the grounding and dredging impacted about 14 acres of the bottom of the bay, including 11.5 acres within the boundary of a natural oyster bar.
Director of the DNR’s Shellfish Division Christopher Judy said that while crews did not find an oyster habitat in the exact area where the ship ran aground, "if somebody runs off the road, goes across your front lawn, but does not hit your house or say run over your shed, you haven’t been impacted in the sense of where you live, but obviously, there’s an impact to your yard."
A man on shore use binoculars to look at The Ever Forward container ship on March 29, 2022, in Pasadena, Maryland, as it sits in the Chesapeake Bay after it ran aground near Baltimore. - As a 1,095-foot cargo ship remained stranded in the Chesapeake
Or, put differently, "right now there’s a huge footprint on the bottom of the bay, a hole," Judy said.
"People should care," he added, "because when a ship runs aground and causes this type of damage, creates a large hole, necessitates a lot of dredging and mud, this is a big deal."
Judy said the work could start as early as this summer, although the summer of 2024 is more likely.
FOX 5 reached out to the company that owns Ever Forward, Evergreen Marine Corporation, but did not immediately hear back.