Volunteers work together to bag oysters on a hot Saturday morningNov 7th, 2015 | Category: Oyster Restoration News, Seeking Volunteers, Shoreline Restoration News
“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum, 1968.)
This morning 12 volunteers, many of them new to Marine Discovery Center, met in the back oyster lot to bag oyster shells in the surprisingly hot November sun.
The volunteers worked together to clear 6 large piles of oysters that had been sitting in the back lot since early in the summer. The oysters came from a combination of 14 local restaurants, and sat in “quarantine” for 3-4 months to clean the shells naturally using sunlight, rain, and small critters.
Over the course of 2.5 hours the volunteers created 274 oyster bags. The oyster bags will go to various restoration projects around the state with Brevard Zoo, MDC, or University of Central Florida.
Oyster bags are vital in the restoration of eroded shorelines. The 30lb, 1 meter long bags are used as wave breaks to help stop impending boat wakes on sensitive shorelines. They also help to accumulate eroded sediment and hold shorelines in place. They are fantastic habitats for a variety of plants and animals, including fiddler crabs and mangroves. Of course, they also help to recruit and rebuild oyster beds in peril.