Monday, May 1, 2017

oyster reef restoration study meeting this afternoon in Apalachicola

Researchers involved in the long-term oyster reef restoration study in Apalachicola Bay will host an update meeting for the community in Apalachicola on May 1st.

The five-year research project began in 2015, and is examining oyster health, productivity and the reef structure needed to support the Bay’s oyster industry as it recovers from a catastrophic collapse in 2012. 

Although Apalachicola Bay is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the U.S., oyster harvest is now at less than 50 percent of historic levels due to factors such as decreased freshwater flows into the Bay, over harvest and drought.

The restoration project is looking at optimal design and management of oyster reefs, so the fishery becomes more resilient to various future disturbances, such as increased salinity levels or sedimentation due to storms.

The meeting will feature representatives from the University of Florida, Florida Sea Grant, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The meeting is open to the public – it will be held on May the 1st from 5 till 6 PM at the Apalachicola Community Center at Battery Park.