MDC creates ‘Living Shorelines’ with UCFAug 1st, 2014 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News
Volunteers from Volusia, Brevard and Orange counties worked together last week with the University of Central Florida’s Dr. Linda Walters and Melinda Donnelly to restore the shorelines at two different sites in Canaveral National Seashore. Walters and Donnelly, along with volunteers and graduate students, spearheaded the initiatives along the shorelines of Garver Island and Seminole Rest, located in the Indian River Lagoon.
Marine Discovery Center volunteers were a crucial part of the team that helped transport and deploy oyster shell bags to Garver Island on July 23 and 24. Over two days, the hard-working crew restored 60 meters of shoreline, deploying 567 bags of oyster shells and 185 Spartina grass plantings.
Shoreline restoration moved to Seminole Rest on July 25 and 26, and volunteers started each day by assembling shell bags for the project. These new shells bags, combined with several hundred constructed by MDC volunteers during shell bagging events in June, were were placed along the banks of this historic site in Oak Hill. In total, 747 oyster shell bags were deployed to protect the shoreline at Seminole Rest from erosion. MDC volunteers and staff also planted 110 sprigs of Spartina grass and 85 mangrove trees alongside the oyster bags to restore a total of 50 meters of shoreline. Seminole Rest, home to Native American middens that date from 2,000 BC to 1565 AD as well as 2 historic buildings, provides valuable scientific, cultural, and historical information about the area’s past.
Many of the volunteers who assisted with these restoration events have been involved with other aspects of the Shuck and Share oyster recycling project, and were excited to see the recycled shells make it back into the natural environment. Instead of sitting in a landfill, these oyster shells are now providing natural habitat for many species in the Indian River Lagoon, protecting shorelines against erosion, sea-level rise, and improving water quality through filtration. The restored shorelines are monitored and periodically adjusted to ensure growth of the native plants and the viability of the restored oyster reefs.
The next opportunity to get involved in oyster recycling and restoration at MDC is the o yster mat-making event this Saturday, August 2 from 9am – 1pm. No experience necessary, come contribute to a healthier lagoon alongside your friends and neighbors! Please call 386-428-4828 or e-mail Annie@marinediscoverycenter.org for more details.