Community Volunteers, Scientists, and Oysters Converge to Protect Shorelines
Oysters filter large volumes of water, create habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries, and serve as natural breakwaters that protect the coastline from inundation and erosion. The ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources engaged over 1,000 community volunteers to lay the foundation for living oyster reefs that will protect nearly two miles of shoreline in the ACE Basin estuary.
Local community leaders, commercial oystermen, nonprofit organizations, and school groups formed a dynamic group of stakeholders who will be lasting stewards of the reefs. “Working with the intended users proved to be extremely productive for this project,” said Dr. Peter Kingsley-Smith, marine scientist at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. “The project area was quite large, and the local knowledge of the stakeholders who live, work, and play on the waterways was key to determining priority locations that reflect the community’s needs through shoreline restoration.” (2016)
Partners: ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Office for Coastal Management