Ah, Shucks! Oyster reef building season has officially come to an end.
During the season, our Restore Our Shores conservation team constructed 18 oyster reefs throughout the North basin of the Indian River Lagoon. Around 13,700 square feet of reef was created from March to October, according to Tyler Provoncha, the Restore Our Shores Permitting Coordinator.
Oysters are considered a keystone species in the Indian River Lagoon and hold a vital role in keeping the ecosystem balanced. Oysters filter and clean water, help to control harmful algae blooms, protect shorelines, and more.
While the builds have wrapped up for 2023, the Restore Our Shores team is still busy monitoring all of the recent projects in the off season. Reefs are checked 6 months and a year after construction to assess how well the reef has succeeded. The team has noticed improvement with recent material and design changes. They expect their newer reefs to have plenty of baby oysters growing on them by next year.
Looking back over the last few months, Tyler is most proud of the construction of the first coquina reef. Created in a corral shape with a coquina perimeter, the reef holds loose shells in the middle instead of the steel gabions.
Tyler notes, “This is exciting for us as it eliminates any manmade material from our projects, and
we hope it follows closely to our promising numbers with other corral methods…The project that
has the coquina corrals is also the largest single project we have built in a long time.”
The next season will start again in March 2024. Tyler and the rest of the team would like to thank the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Project Plan in partnership with Brevard County Natural Resources, which funds all the oyster projects. The gardening volunteers were also integral in these builds as they grew oysters off their docks throughout the year, even through heat waves and algal blooms. Finally, the team sends thanks to the dedicated build volunteers who continually faced strong winds and wild waves.
If you’re interested in volunteering in an important Restore Our Shores project, head to
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