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Oyster Restoration

Oysters are an increasingly popular subject for restoration aquaculture, which applies aquatic and marine cultivation techniques to produce organisms for release into the environment to enhance ecosystem health and functioning. Oysters are known to have an important ecological role in providing food and habitat for other critters and filtering up to 50 gallons of water per day. And because they are an economically valuable and culturally valued seafood, much has been learned in recent years about how to raise them. Learn more about restoration aquaculture by watching a recorded #Aquatalk session with Florida Sea Grant agent Vincent Encomio.

The released oysters will filter water, stabilize the shoreline and provide habitat for other marine life. Photo: Camila Guillen, University of Florida | IFAS

Meet the Experts

Oyster Gardening

Oyster gardeners conduct some of the same activities as oyster farmers, just usually on a smaller scale, and with a different purpose:  oyster gardeners’ crops will continue life on restored reefs rather than ending up on a dinner plate. Florida Sea Grant, the MississippiAlabama Sea Grant Consortium, and Maryland Sea Grant are among those programs actively involved in assisting volunteers from the public learn to be oyster gardeners. Raising oysters for planting on reefs is not the only opportunity volunteers have to get involved with restoration:  Coastal Research Volunteers organized by New Hampshire Sea Grant aid in constructing and monitoring restored reef in the Great Bay estuary.

Featured Oyster Restoration Impacts

Oyster Restoration News

Story Highlight

Sea Grant Knows Oysters

Here at Sea Grant, we study oysters (a lot!), and we support hundreds of small businesses that grow, harvest, and serve oysters by providing training and technical assistance.

Mesh bags full of oysters

Promoting Oyster Restoration Through Schools

Promoting Oyster Restoration Through Schools or Project: PORTS has seeded more than 20 million oysters in conservation sites like Gandy’s Beach throughout the Delaware Bay since it began in 2007. It is led by New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and partner Lisa Calvo at the Shellfish Aquaculture Coordinator for Rutgers University. 

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Commercial fishermen harvesting oysters in Apalachicola. Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Bringing Back Florida’s Oysters

Florida Sea Grant brought together a team of researchers, agency scientists and industry leaders to understand the decline of the Apalachicola oyster fishery and to identify a strategy for efficient recovery.

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