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

Two Reefs Restored through Shuck and Share Project

Jul 7th, 2014 | Category: Blogs, MDC News, Oyster Restoration News, Shoreline Restoration News

A recently restored oyster reef at low tide

Marine Discovery Center volunteers and staff spent Monday morning successfully restoring two oyster reefs in Canaveral National Seashore. A team of about 20 people loaded up onto 4 boats and, led by Dr. Linda Walters of the University of Central Florida and Jody Palmer of Brevard Zoo, split up to complete the restoration before the tide came in.

Both reefs were originally restored about 6 years ago, but needed some attention due to a number of boat strikes and rising sea levels over the last few years. Most sections of the reefs looked very healthy and thick with oysters, so we focused on selected edges where boats had damaged oyster mats and the water was slightly too deep for the oysters to prosper.

As the team began working on the damaged reefs, a flock of  roseate spoonbills flew over, giving their blessing. Volunteers started by removing any clumps of live oysters from the work area and relocating them to the healthy side of the reef. Once the area was completely clear, volunteers manually raked the area flat to ensure that new oyster growth would be at the optimal tidal height. The team then laid oyster mats out in a grid, attaching them together with concrete sprinkler donuts and heavy-duty cable ties. The sprinkler donuts help keep the entire reef in place and also acts as substrate on which oysters and other invertebrates will grow.

The tide came in as the crew put the finishing touches on the ‘refreshed’ areas of oyster reef and loaded the rest of the supplies into the boats. The extra supplies were relocated to another reef in the area, where they will be utilized this month.

THANK YOU to our hard-working volunteers who spent the morning dodging rain and laying oyster mats to help restore the Indian River Lagoon. It’s inspiring to work alongside so many people willing to get their hands (and entire bodies) dirty to help keep our lagoon beautiful.

There will be several boat-based and shoreline-based restoration events throughout July. Please email Annie@marinediscoverycenter.org or call 386-428-4828 for more details and to get involved.


Piles of mats await deployment at a restoration site