Did you know that more than 80% of the worlds oyster reefs have been lost (Kroeger, 2012)? With efforts from our programs in Little Lagoon, Mobile Bay, and Mississippi waters we are constantly working towards restoring the reefs in these areas.
Why Its Important
Oysters from this project are planted on restoration reefs in Mobile Bay and the Mississippi Sound. As the reefs continue to grow through settling of spat (young oysters), they develop a matrix of interstitial spaces that provide habitat for over 300 different species. In addition to providing habitat, oysters improve water quality by feeding on phytoplankton, and filtering out excess nutrients. Oyster reefs also help to dissipate wave energy along the coast which helps to stabilize the shoreline. Oyster gardening provides an opportunity for gardeners to participate in ecological restoration by helping improve water quality, create habitat, and stabilize shorelines.
Follow along to stay up to date on Oyster Gardening in Mississippi and Alabama and oyster related research projects coming from our lab!
The 2019 Season Growth Chart: