Endangered Oyster Reefs Given New Life
Florida's foremost aquatic restoration company Sea & Shoreline rehabilitated damaged oyster reefs in an effort to allow these "ecosystem engineers" to continue providing healthier environments.
Sea & Shoreline has announced the completion of an oyster reef rehabilitation project for the City of Naples at the mouth of Rock Creek, adjacent to The Gordon River in Naples Bay. The aquatic restoration company created the reefs using 190 tons of natural oyster shell, natural coral, and limestone, making these reefs environmentally responsible versus other methods which utilize plastic mesh bags of shell.
Since the 1950's, Naples Bay has lost 80% of its oyster reefs due to development, dredging, erosion from boat wakes, and decreasing water quality. Oyster restoration has been an ongoing effort in Naples Bay for over 10 years, and is accomplished by the placement of hard substrate on the bay bottom allowing juvenile oysters to recruit onto the reefs and eventually form new thriving reefs. The reefs will provide necessary vital habitat and food sources for many organisms, provide shoreline protection, increase coastal resiliency, as well as offer natural water filters which will help remove pollutants from the bay. They also expand recreational opportunities, as kayakers and anglers also utilize these areas.
The project was a collaboration between Sea & Shoreline and the City of Naples, all in an effort to support conservation and environmental enhancement.
"Oyster reefs are among the most threatened habitats in the world and need our protection," said Sea & Shoreline President Carter Henne. "They provide safe and sustainable environments for aquatic ecosystems to flourish. One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day, making them integral to the health of aquatic environments."
"As a coastal city, the City of Naples is always striving to improve water quality, restore impacted habitats, and maintain a healthy environment," said Katie Laakkonen, Interim Natural Resources Manager for The City of Naples. "Working with Sea & Shoreline to continue our oyster restoration efforts was a great experience. This site posed some challenges, including navigating a bridge with low clearance, and they adapted and innovated to get the work completed quickly and efficiently. Thanks to Sea & Shoreline, we have four newly created reefs that we look forward to watching grow in the future."
Since its inception in 2015, Sea & Shoreline's unparalleled experience with scientifically validated methods of aquatic restoration has proven successful across more than 150 environmental projects. The company continues to be the industry leader in rehabilitating threatened and corrupted aquatic environments. Other current and upcoming projects include dredging of muck and restoration of nearly 50 acres of seagrass habitat within the Kings Bay Restoration Project in Crystal River, Fla. and seagrass restorations in the Indian River Lagoon, the Caloosahatchee River, and the Homosassa River.
ABOUT SEA & SHORELINE
Sea & Shoreline, LLC is a Florida-based aquatic restoration firm with two decades of experience restoring fresh and saltwater habitats to healthy and self-sustaining ecosystems. Sea & Shoreline has completed over 150 habitat restoration projects. Services include seagrass, oyster reef, coral reef, and propeller scar restorations, dredging, living shorelines, vegetated retaining walls, wetland plantings, berm stabilizations, and seagrass mitigation banking. For more information, please visit seaandshoreline.com, or follow us on social media LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.