Oyster Restoration

Oyster reefs provide vital habitat to marine plants and animals and filter the water around them, but these estuarine habitats are in decline worldwide due to over-harvesting, coastal development, nutrient pollution, and disease. SCCF's Marine Laboratory and Coastal Watch program are working to study, protect, and restore Florida's oyster populations.

Our Research

  • Analyzing potential oyster restoration sites by estimating their relative habitat suitabilities
  • Studying how oyster beds change after being restored by taking key measurements before and after restoration
  • Collaborating with university and government research partners to conduct scientific studies on oyster conservation
oyster bed

About Oysters

  • Florida's native oyster species is the Eastern or Atlantic Oyster (Crassostrea virginica), which lives in brackish to salty waters in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean
  • Oysters are filter feeders, feeding on plankton by pumping water through their gills
  • They are 'ecosystem engineers' because of their ability to grow in masses and form reef structures that host fish and invertebrates
  • They build reefs through a process of larval attachment to oyster shell
  • Each female can produce over 100 million eggs during a spawning event!

Oyster Restoration News