As part of our living shorelines reconstruction job we have been monitoring regenerated native eelgrass and rehabilitated oyster habitat since 2016. Below, is a sneak peek at what we do and how it works.
Oysters are filter self-feeders, making they obtain tiny corpuscles of organic material from the ocean in order to better feed. In doing so, they remove excess nutrients from urban areas and agricultural runoff. This helps prevent harmful algal blushes and spurs natural action like the nitrogen cycle to occur.
The Olympia oyster is native to the west coast of North America and are known to settle on other oyster eggshells on mudflats. This accumulation of oyster shells along coastlines and creeks jobs as a natural hindrance to reduce the potential for coastal erosion. This is especially vital in our own Newport Bay because of the consistent ship traffic and seaside residences that reside upon the faces ignoring the inlet. This environment also attracts other critters and filter feeders like mussels, which further provide benefits to the bay.
Once a year, our unit of researchers and indulgent voluntaries wake up in the middle of the nighttime for four dates straight-from-the-shoulder to shoot the early morning tide out and find how the regenerated oyster plots are performing.
Here’s how these examines are done 😛 TAGEND
We haphazardly sample areas within the oyster bunks, applying a PVC quadrat( white-hot square depicted) to define our sampling neighbourhood. This strung quadrat allows us to record our determines quantitatively by each point so we can get an idea of what’s happening at each site. We too use a small chain to measure the rugosity, or intricacy of the surfaces of the berthed. Generally, higher rugosity represents more oyster shells. With a smaller quadrat we then unearth( or obtain) all the hard shell within this space. We make this collected samples back to the lab to count and examine the oysters and other characters that have drawn the mudflat their home.
The openings created by these quarries are filled with replacement oyster husks to create keep the space for the native oysters to settle on.
Finally, we weigh the total area of the bottoms to see if they are expanding or migrating.
Through this work and the assistance of our supporters, we can provide a healthier and more sustainable coastline. Let’s return these habitat-forming species with their crucial environmental capacities to Upper Newport Bay! Visit our restoration page to learn more.
About the Author:
Mason Emery is currently a Masters student in Coastkeeper’s partner Danielle Zacherl’s Marine Ecology Lab at California State University Fullerton.
His research focuses on eelgrass restoration and their relationship with oyster environment. He aims to help preserve and protect the inlet by regenerate both of these habitat make species for the potential benefits of all who enjoy its countless fascinations. For more information, contact Mason at memery @csu. fullerton.edu and stay zacherllab.com.
The post Three Years Later: An Inside Look at Our Oyster Restoration materialized first on Orange County Coastkeeper.
Read more: coastkeeper.org.