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Oyster Restoration Research Team Announces May 1 Meeting

oystermen in apalachicola bay

A five-year study is looking at optimal ways to restore depleted reefs to help the oyster harvest and commercial fishery rebound following the 2012 fishery collapse. Erik Lovestrand photo

Project leaders coordinating the long-term oyster reef restoration study in Apalachicola Bay will be hosting an update meeting for the community on May 1, 2017, from 5-6 pm in the Apalachicola Community Center.

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. All interested persons from the community are encouraged to attend.

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 project, supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is looking at optimal design and management of oyster reef restoration projects, so the fishery becomes more resilient to various future disturbances, such as increased salinity levels or sedimentation due to storms. Previous meeting notes and details are available at the Oyster Restoration Research web page.

For more information, please contact Erik Lovestrand, Florida Sea Grant agent and County Extension director with UF/IFAS Extension in Franklin County, elovestrand@ufl.edu, 850-653-9337.

Download Meeting Notice (pdf)

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/04/18/oyster-restoration-research-team-announces-may-1-meeting/