Restoring Local Oyster Reef Habitats
The Oyster Restoration Initiative entered its third year and we continue to engage citizen scientists, advance our understanding of oyster ecology and restore local oyster reef habitats in our coastal ecosystem.
In early 2019, Whitney Laboratory volunteers and staff created 260 environmentally friendly Community Oyster Reef Enhancement (CORE) Modules to restore habitats, prevent shoreline erosion and promote biological diversity. In April 2019, these modules were deployed in the Nassau River to create new oyster reefs as part of the Goffinsville Park Living Shoreline Demonstration site, in partnership with Justina Dacey, UF/IFAS/Extension agent for Nassau County.
Also, a workshop was held for new oyster gardeners with over 47 oyster gardeners in Northeast Florida participating in 2019. Gardeners grew oysters in the waterways by their homes and collected important environmental data like water temperature, salinity and water clarity. And despite predation by crown conchs, our Whitney CORE module oyster reefs continue to grow!