Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

New Webpage Features SCCF’s Oyster Restoration Work

August 19, 2020

Over the past decade, the SCCF Marine Lab has been actively working to restore oyster reefs in the area around Sanibel and Captiva. The lab conducts routine monitoring of oyster reef health, targeted research on specific attributes of oysters, and has restored a dozen reefs. We are excited to share a new webpage created by Marine Lab Manager A.J. Martignette that provides an in-depth look at this work. 

Built on an interactive platform, it includes background information on oysters, outlines how we restore reefs, and discusses some of the monitoring and research the lab has conducted. It features several maps, slideshows, and videos. You can watch a great overview video that was created five years ago by then marine lab intern Leah Reidenbach, who, after going back to school to earn her master’s degree, has returned to the lab as a Research Associate. We hope you enjoy exploring this new online opportunity to learn about our work and the important role oysters play in the local ecosystem!

Healthy oyster reefs and seagrass beds are vital to the health of estuarine ecosystems. Oyster reefs filter water and serve as prey and habitat for many other estuarine animals. Oysters and other filter-feeding invertebrates that naturally occur on oyster reefs, remove suspended solids from the water and some have suggested that this can clarify the water to enable seagrass growth and reduce the likelihood of harmful algal blooms. Over-harvesting, sedimentation due to human development, oyster disease, and dredging for channelization or other human uses have reduced oyster reefs by an estimated 85% worldwide.

Click here to check it out!


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