Oyster Reef Restoration in North Carolina: Recommendations for Improvements in Techniques and Monitoring
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The Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) is important to the North Carolina economy, ecology, and way of life. Oysters provide many direct and indirect services that benefit coastal fisheries and North Carolina’s economy. In the past 10 to 15 years oyster reef restoration efforts have increased in the state. Many stakeholders such as the North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, and state universities have collaborated to create and enhance oyster reefs throughout the state. These stakeholders each have their own methods for monitoring restoration sites that they constructed. In the past decade there were metrics of success created by the Oyster Restoration Workgroup to monitor newly restored reefs. There have also been many different types of alternative substrates developed for oyster recruitment in an effort to make up for a decrease oyster shell supply. It is recommended that stakeholders involved with oyster reef restoration in North Carolina continue to collaborate. Recommendations are presented to these stakeholders focused on long-term monitoring goals and standardized monitoring metrics, agreement on priorities for new projects, alternative substrates, and increased use of volunteers. These recommendations serve to improve methods for creating or enhancing future oyster restoration projects in North Carolina.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
oyster restoration recommendations
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