Test Your Habitat IQ
Gulf Spill Restoration Website
Stay Connected

Oyster Restoration

The size and scope of oyster reef restoration projects, and the techniques used to implement them, are dictated by the goals of the project. Some of the major goals of a restoration project are to:

  • Augment commercial harvest
  • Serve as habitat.
  • Improve water quality.
  • Increase or improve spat set in an area by creating oyster sanctuaries.
  • Maintain or increase biodiversity.
  • Restore ecological function.
  • Provide a barrier to prevent beach or shoreline erosion.
  • Protect and enhance sea grass restoration projects.

Factors to Consider During Project Planning for Oyster restoration Projects

Open All Close All
  • Site Selection

  • Cultch material

  • Reef construction

Examples of oyster reef restoration techniques

  • Quickly distributing large amounts of shell with high pressure hoses to provide cultch for oysters. This technique work in areas that have known, reliable spat set.
  • Constructing a linear reef of shell and rock to stabilize the shoreline while protecting sea grass plantings behind the reef. The grass plantings also enhance shoreline stability and provide additional habitat for organisms.
  • Collecting and bagging oyster shell for use as cultch for spat set.  Serving as habitat for oysters and other associated organisms, these bags of oyster shell will help establish new oyster reefs in intertidal areas.
  • Using a hatchery to provide seed oysters in areas where spat set is nonexistent or unreliable. This will establish new reefs and improve water quality in the local area.
Oyster Restoration