Oyster Reef Restoration Research in Northwest Florida
The Aquatic Habitat Conservation and Restoration Program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory (FSUCML) are teaming together to conduct research on eco-friendly, biodegradable oyster reef restoration materials. These materials are designed to help restore northwest Florida’s oyster reef habitat and to create new living shorelines structures that help protect coastal property.
On April 11 FWC and FSUCML staff were assisted by volunteers transporting materials from a storage pile to a transport FWC airboat, then off-loading the materials from the airboat onto intertidal oyster reef habitat. Materials included biodegradable coir (coconut fiber) oyster shell bags and fossilized oyster rock. These materials are being tested to determine which material is the best for spat (young oysters) recruitment/growth and to find a way of reducing plastic in the marine environment.
Many thanks to the folks who volunteered their time to help FWC and FSUCML staff with this important restoration project. We could not have done this without your help. This is just the first of many field days with this project that we will need volunteers. So watch our web sites for future volunteer opportunities.