"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."

MDC volunteers add 42 oyster mats

Feb 18th, 2014 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News

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On Saturday, February 15, volunteers came together to construct oyster mats for the Shuck and Share oyster recycling program. Over the course of several hours, 17 participants assembled a total of 42 mats for the project. Some folks who came out on Saturday had never before been to our center, while others have been involved in many MDC activities over the years. It was a great mix of people who share a love for the lagoon and a desire to make a difference in the community.

Since the project kicked off only 6 weeks ago, volunteers have constructed 298 mats which puts us well on track for our goal of 500! Soon we will shift gears toward making oyster bags, which require more shell material. Each oyster bag contains about 5 gallons of shell material, but with the restaurant deliveries starting as well as upcoming seafood festivals, we’ll have plenty of shells to work with!

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Open mat and bag-making events at the Marine Discovery Center are a great way to get involved in a project that benefits your local community. The mats and bags created through the Shuck and Share program will be used to rebuild oyster reefs in the Indian River Lagoon. After the materials are placed strategically in the lagoon, they provide habitat for new organisms and a place for oyster larvae to settle and grow, and help prevent erosion by stabilizing the shoreline.

So come join your friends and neighbors and do your part to keep our Indian River Lagoon a healthy and productive place! Our next open mat-making session will take place on March 15 from 9am – 1pm at MDC. There will be no mat-making event on March 1 due to the Grant Seafood Festival. See you there!