Preliminary data shows that so far, oyster restoration efforts in Maryland’s Harris Creek are doing well. Late last fall, scientists gathered data about oyster density on restored oyster reefs in Harris Creek on reefs that were seeded with spat-on-shell in 2012.
100% of those sites exceeded standards set to show healthy restoration efforts; they have more than 15 oysters per square meter.
50% of those sites did even better; they had more than 50 oysters per square meter.
Monitoring was accomplished by divers and scientists using patent tongs from Paynter Labs at the University of Maryland, coordinated by the Oyster Recovery Partnership and funded by NOAA. Video footage of restored areas showed healthy, vertically growing oysters.
In total, restoration work in Harris Creek included 2 billion seed planted onto more than 350 acres of reefs. Seeded reefs now cover 8 percent of the 4,500-acre Harris Creek oyster sanctuary.
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source: NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office