Oyster Restoration and Management in Coastal North Carolina
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The once strong North Carolina oyster fishery has fallen on hard times over the last few decades due to overfishing, habitat loss, disease, and pollution. Currently, there are many actions being taken in an effort to reverse this downward trend. The North Carolina Coastal Federation has developed the “Oyster Action Plan,” a coast-wide effort involving many different state, federal, non-profit, and educational organizations to restore oysters and oyster habitat. As part of this effort, I worked with many of these organizations to determine and map priority areas for oyster habitat restoration along the coast. Additionally, as part of the current effort in North Carolina to create an oyster gardening program, I worked with people from other states who have existing oyster gardening programs to develop a series of recommendations for how to best go about constructing our program. This report will give the reader a background on oyster biology and ecology, as well as the history and current status of the fishery in North Carolina. Additionally, it will present my efforts within the oyster action plan, and make some general conclusions and recommendations about how to proceed in the future. The Oyster Action Plan is an ongoing process that will continue for years to come, and will hopefully be successful at returning large populations of oysters to our coast.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
North Carolina Coastal Federation
Oyster Action Plan
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