Before pollution and overharvesting all but wiped out the state's oysters, commercial oyster harvesters brought in almost one million bushels a year. Now the harvest is less than 50,000 bushels. Loss of oysters is not only a problem for seafood lovers. It also means a loss of cleaner waters, for oysters filter water for their food. New legislation passed in 2004 now allows dock owners to cultivate their own oysters for consumption. The Under the Dock Oyster Bill states that \"shellfish cultivation provides increased ecological benefits to the estuarine environment by promoting natural water filtration and increased fishery habitats.\"