Community based oyster restoration

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					  Oyster Restoration
Community Based Efforts

     By: TJ Medlock
                  The Oyster
• Scientific Name:
  Crassostrea virginica
• Common Names: Eastern
  oyster, American oyster
• Classification:
• Kingdom Animalia
  Phylum Mollusca
  Class Pelecypoda or
  Order Lamellibranchia
  Family Filibranchia
  Genus Crassostrea
  species virginica
                         Range habitat
• "keystone species"
• estuaries, sounds, bays, and tidal creeks
   – brackish water to full strength seawater
   – withstand wide variations in :
      – Temperature and salinity
      – concentrations of suspended sediments
      – dissolved oxygen
• In South Carolina, almost all oysters live in the
  intertidal zone
   – submerged by the tide
      – filter phytoplankton
   – gentle slopes
                     Life Cycle
•   Reproduction begins May goes through
     –   water temperatures greater than 68 F
•   Egg and sperm into water column
•   Planktonic (free-swimming) trochophore
     –   about 6 hours
•   Fully shelled veliger larva
     –   formed within 12 to 24 hours
     –   remains planktonic for about 3 weeks.
     –   Towards the end of this period it develops a
         foot (pediveliger)
     –   settles to the bottom of the water column
•   Seeks adult oyster shell
     –   larva cements itself and metamorphoses to
         the adult form.
     –   newly attached oyster is "spat“
•   Fully functional reef
     •   Usually develops in 3 to 5 years
                 Reference – Chesapeake Bay
•Oyster population declined
to almost 1% of original
    •Original pop. Could filter
    the bay’s 19 trillion gallons
    in about a week
    •Current pop. Would take
    over a year to accomplish
    same thing
  Chesapeake Bay – 1yrs worth
oysters from single shucking house
           Why Restoration needed?
• Populations are lower now than they were in 1900
• If removal of oysters by harvesting is not offset by replanting
    – resource declines due to reduced sufficient substrate
• Currently less than 10% of the oysters harvested in SC are returned to
  SCDNR for use in habitat restoration
    – 2004-05 harvest season
         • SCDNR evaluated status of 22 SSGs
              – 11 had declined in quality
              – 7 improved
              – 4 were unchanged
         • In order to recover, DNR Shellfish Management closed 16 SSGs for commercial oyster
• Need native oysters to re-colonize
    – New evidence of foreign oysters causing effects in ecosystems
    – Diseases
         – Dermo
         – MSX
                 Causes of Decline
• closing of oyster
  canneries and most
  shucking houses
  – shortage of shucked
    oyster shell needed to
    cultivate and restore
    oyster beds
• Over harvesting
  – backyard oyster roasts
  – by-the-bushel retail sales
     • Most shucked shells end
       up in garbage/driveways
           Causes of Decline Con’t
• destruction of habitat
   – Boat landings
   – docks
• water pollution
• negative effects from
  anthropogenic (man-made)
   – nonpoint source runoff
   – wakes from increasing
     recreational boat traffic
• Many other effects related
  to coastal development.
                 Benefits of Oyster Reefs
•   Habbitat
     •   Solid structure within the water column for sessile organisms
           – barnacles and sea anemones
     •   Homes and hiding places
           – polychaete worms and soft-shell blue crabs
     •   spawning substrate for fishes
           – gobies, blennies, and skilletfish
     •   Concentrating prey (food) species for larger predator fishes
           – striped bass
     •   Stabilizing bottom sediments for benthic organisms
           – trap sediments
           – Serving as breakwaters to protect adjacent shorelines from erosion
                  –   absorb wave energy, reducing erosion of adjacent salt marshes
                         • Protect and promote growth of Spartina marsh grass
     •   By products of oysters benefit hard clams and aquatic plants
           •   Denitrification
     – Oysters sequester carbon from the water column as they form calcium carbonate shells.
           •   As a carbon sink, oyster reefs potentially reduce concentrations of greenhouse gases
     •   Filtration and clarification of water
           – Adult oysters filter up to 2.5 gallons of water per hour or up to 50 gallons per day
Oyster Reef Ecosystem
With and Without
       Additional Ecosystem Value
• oysters can influence water quality by reducing:
   – phytoplankton biomass, microbial biomass, nutrient loading, and
     suspended solids
   – “wastewater treatment facilities”
   – Promote sedimentation benefiting SAV
       • Submerged aquatic vegetation

• “2O% reduction in total SAV in the Chesapeake Bay results in
  a loss of I-4 million dollars annually in fishery value”*
• improvements in water quality in general are valued by the
  general public
   – swimming, boating, sport fishing, etc.
                Economic Value
• 2004-05 oyster landings
  valued at $1,236,242
   – down from previous
     season’s $1,321,738

Table 15.1 Ecosystem Services that are provided by oyster reef habitat
Ecosystem Service                                         Benefit/Value
1. Production of oysters                                                 inc. market & recreational value

2. Water filtration & concentration of psuedofeces
                                                          dec. suspended solids, turbidity, phytoplankton biomass,
                                                            & microbial production; & inc. dentrification, SAV, &
                                                                             reacreational use

3. Provision of habitat for epibenthic inverts                           inc. biodiversity & productivity

4. Carbon sequestration                                              dec. greenhouse gas concentrations
5. Augmented fish production                                             inc. market & recreational value

6. Stabilization of adjacent habitats and shoreline
                                                          inc. SAV & salt marsh habitat; dec. effects of sea-level rise

7. Diversification of the landscape & ecosystem
                                                                          inc. synergies among habitats
          Habits for restoration
• Previously degraded sites
• Areas of mud flats away from SAV and salt
  – Augment juvenile fish abundances
  – potentially increase fish productivity within
       Community based oyster
– provides tangible
  ecological benefits
– Encourages stewardship
– Involves local citizens
     Contributing companies/organizations to
•   Abe’s Oyster House
                       Oyster recycling
•   ACE Basin Field Station                      •   Locklear’s Restaurant
•   ACE Basin/Donnelly WMA                       •   Morgan Creek Grill
•   Augie Hamlin                                 •   The Nature Concervancy
•   Beaufort County Department of Public Works   •   Red’s Ice House
•   Belle W. Baruch Institute/Hobcaw Barony      •   Shuckers Raw Bar
•   Carolina Seafoods, Inc.                      •   South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism
•   Charleston Bay Catering                      •   Sticky Fingers Restaurant
•   Charleston County Parks & Recreation         •   Sullivan’s Island Fire Dept.
•   Charleston Outdoor Catering                  •   Tide Water Catering
•   Charleston Restaurant Association            •   Town of Mount Pleasant
•   Coastal Conservation Association             •   Town of McClellanville
•   Edisto State Park                            •   Town of Port Royal
•   Fisher Recycling                             •   USFW Bears Bluff Fish Hatchery
•   Gilligan’s Steamer and Raw Bar               •   USFW Garris Landing Field Station
•   Georgetown County Recreation & Leisure
•   Kiawah Island Recycling Dept.
             Recycling Centers around SC                                  Recycling Do's and Don'ts
                                                        •   DO separate shell from trash. Shell mixed with trash is
                                                            not suitable for recycling. Provide separate containers
                                                            for shell and trash.
                                                        •   DO dump shells from bags or containers and leave only
•   Myrtle Beach Bin at Shucker’s Raw Bar
                                                            shells in the bins.
•   Murrells Inlet Bin at Cedar Hill Landing            •   DO bring your shell to the nearest shell recycling center.
•   Murrells Inlet Bin at Garden City Fire Dept             Maps are provided below. If a center is not shown near
•   Murrells Inlet Bin at Huntington Beach State Park       you, please call 843-953-9397.
•   Georgetown Bin at Waccamaw River Bridge             •   DON'T put live oysters in South Carolina waters. If the
•   McClellanville Bin at The Town Hall                     oysters you purchased were harvested outside South
•   Awendaw Bin at Garris/Moores Boat Landing               Carolina, it is illegal to place them in SC waters. Placing
•   Mt. Pleasant Bin on Sweet Grass Basket Pkwy             imported oysters in our waters can create
•   Mt. Pleasant Bin at Red’s Ice House                     environmental problems and may harm local oysters or
•   Goose Creek Bin at Gilligan’s Restaurant                other animals.
•   Ladson Bin at Jessen Boat Landing                   •   DON'T put freshly shucked oysters shell in SC waters. To
•   West Ashley Bin at Charleston Outdoor                   avoid contamination, shell should be recycled to DNR
•   James Isl. Bin at Sol Legare Boat Landing               and properly quarantined for 6 months.
•   James Isl. Bin at SCDNR on Ft. Johnson Rd.
•   Johns Isl. Bin at Gilligan’s Restaurant
•   Wadmalaw Isl. Bin at Bears Bluff Fish Hatchery
•   Kiawah Bin at Mingo Point
•   Edisto Island Bin
•   Beaufort Bin at Beaufort County Public Works
•   Port Royal Bin at Sands Beach Boat Landing
•   Hunting Isl. Bin at Russ Point
 Group Involvement Opportunities
• April 19th, 2011
   – Riverland Terrace
     (Plymouth Landing)
      • JI, Charleston County, SC
          The Community Can
•   Bagging
•   Boating
•   Planting
•   Monitoring
•   and much more
                             Volunteer of the

 • Involves community
   of all ages
     – Learning experience
     – Stewardship
     – awards

Southeast Aquatic Resource
  • Involving local life as best workforce
      –   Learn about nature and established ecosystems
      –   Put economic source up close and personal
      –   Property value
      –   Volunteer opportunities
           • More involved responsibilities include monitoring/testing/data
      – Establish landscape that community is accustomed to
Charleston Waterfront Park
    Since May 2001, more than 8000 volunteers have used
      more than 500 tons of shell to build 188 reefs at 35
             reef sites along the South Carolina

     South Carolina Oyster
  Restoration and Enhancement
                             Huntington Beach State Park
                                           Pawley’s Island


                  SC County Park Romain
                             Boone Hall
                  Alberta Long
             Riverland Terrace Patriots Point
                  Aquarium Fort Johnson
            Boy Scout Camp Rockville
Beaufort Marine
        Dataw Edisto
  Port Royal
           Chowan Creek
                                                     Sites Constructed
Waddell Mariculture
Trask Boat Landing
Pinckney Landing
               Established SCORE Program
•   The sites span 200 miles of coastline from Murrell's Inlet to Hilton Head, South Carolina.
     –   All of the reefs were constructed by community volunteers working under the direction of the South Carolina
         Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
•   Accomplishments:
•   Over 25,000 volunteer hours donated by more than 8,000 individuals
•   Collected and processed more than 600 reef samples containing more than 300,000 spat in
    annual reef assessments.
•   Recycled and bagged over 20,000 bushels of oyster shell
•   Returned more than 500 tons of oyster shell to the local waters by constructing almost
    41,000 square feet of oyster reef footprint (about an acre)
•   Approximately 25 teams of trained volunteers monitor water quality weekly at most sites
•   Marsh grass is growing in behind many SCORE reefs!
•   SCORE received the prestigious Coastal America Partnership Award in 2004.
           Additional SCORE Goals
• Develop a citizen constituency for oysters
• “Grass-roots” effort to restore oysters
• Increase public awareness of the value of oysters to the
• Influence public policy to provide greater protection for oyster
• Influence lawmakers to provide adequate funding for proper
  management of oyster resources
• Expand the scope of our endeavors by utilizing volunteer
            Private Dock involvment
•Relatively new program
    •Private ownership
         •Grow oysters for self
         and community
    •Grown on personal docks
    in the creek for spat
           Community Funding
• Fishing licenses
• Oyster shucking knives
• Stickers
•   Introduction of Non-Native Oysters: Ecosystem Effects and Restoration Implications. Jennifer L. Ruesink,
    Hunter S. Lenihan, Alan C. Trimble, Kimberly W. Heiman, Fiorenza Micheli, James E. Byers and Matthew C.
    Kay, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. Vol. 36, (2005), pp. 643-689. Annual Reviews.
•   Hadley, N. H., Hodges, M., Wilber, D. H. and Coen, L. D. (2010), Evaluating Intertidal Oyster Reef
    Development in South Carolina Using Associated Faunal Indicators. Restoration Ecology, 18: 691–701.
    doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00502.x
•   Hadley, Nancy, and Michael Hodges. SCORE Home. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, May
    2001. Web. 17 Apr. 2011.
•   Grabowski, Jonathan H., and Charles H. Peterson. "Restoring Oyster Reefs to Recover Ecosystem Services."
    Ecosystem Engineers (2007): 281-98. Elsevier, Inc., 2007. Web. 17 Apr. 2011.
•   Stricklin, Alex G., Mark S. Peterson, John D. Lopez, Christopher A. May, Christina F. Mohrman, and Mark S.
    Woodrey. Do Small, Patchy, Intertidal Oyster Reefs Reduce Salt Marsh Erosion As Well As Natural Reefs?
    2009. MS. University of Southern Mississippi. USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Gulf and Caribbean
    Research, 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2011.
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