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SCCF provides update on Clam Bayou Oyster Reef Restoration

By Staff | Jun 8, 2010

Moving the bagged shells into place

Nearly 14 tons of fossil oyster shell have been deployed in Clam Bayou to create oyster reef habitat in an SCCF Marine Laboratory restoration project that also includes mangrove planting. 

Volunteers are again being called upon to assist SCCF at a pair of upcoming events, scheduled for Saturday, June 12 and Thursday, June 17.

Earlier this year, volunteers at Bowman’s Beach helped shovel fossil shell into mesh bags.  On May 11, the Marine Lab staff moved more than 350 bags filled with shell into Clam Bayou for building oyster reefs using a barge (modified from an old Jensen’s Marina pontoon boat). 

One week later, on May 19, a biology class from South Fort Myers High School — led by Steve Wilke — helped move 139 bags of shell, along with 63 oyster recruitment trays, into Clam Bayou.   

Later in May, another group from AmeriCorps — partnering with Goodwill — brought teenagers participating in a Service Learning Mission, called “Project Impact,” to deploy another 215 bags to a small island in Clam Bayou. 

Volunteers loading the bagged shell at Bowman’s Beach to move it closer to Clam Bayou.

Our latest endeavor was on June 5, when members of the public — using several personal kayaks and canoes — moved approximately 400 bags of shell. To date, we have moved approximately 1,100 bags of shell (nearly 14 tons) and 98 oyster recruitment trays. 

The oyster recruitment trays will be used to compare recruitment on the new reefs relative to recruitment at other natural reef locations, including Tarpon Bay. So far, 51 volunteers have helped with the deployment. 

Our next events are scheduled for this Saturday, June 12 and Thursday, June 17.  You can learn more on our website, located at www.sccf.org/content/172/Oyster-Restoration-on-Sanibel.aspx.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Sabrina Lartz by phone at 395-4617 or via e-mail at slartz@sccf.org. All volunteers must register in advance.

Oyster restoration volunteers working in the water. The modified barge is in the background.