Restoring Local Oyster Reef Habitats
The Oyster Restoration Initiative entered its fourth year and we continued to engage citizen scientists, advance our understanding of oyster ecology and restore local oyster reef habitats in our coastal ecosystem.
In early 2020, Whitney Laboratory volunteers and staff created over 1,000 environmentally friendly Community Oyster Reef Enhancement (CORE) Modules to restore habitats, prevent shoreline erosion and promote biological diversity. They were deployed at multiple locations in Northeast Florida in a joint study with IFAS extension agents. Currently a new project is in the development stage with the Riverside Conservancy in Edgewater, Florida where 1,500 CORE modules will be used to restore oyster reefs in the Northern IRL. Citizen science oyster gardeners in Northeast Florida continued to grow oysters and collect important environmental data like water temperature, salinity, and water clarity for Whitney Laboratory.