||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.