Restoring Oyster Beds in the Lowcountry

April 19, 2017, 11:30 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (FOX 24 NEWS NOW) — Mother earth provides us with everything we need, but we also need to give back.

South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources will be hosting an Oyster Restoration and Enhancement event, one of many volunteer events held throughout the year.

“We will be constructing an oyster reef on the shorelines of Charleston harbor at the DNR facility on James Island,” said Michael Hodges with DNR.

The event will last from 10:00am until 12:30pm. Hodges says they will be putting out about 21,000 pounds of oyster shells or 700 recycled bags of oyster shells, and plating around 300 plugs of marsh grass on the shoreline with the help of volunteers.

He says it is important to replenish with the shells because oyster larva will land on the shells on the shoreline. “Oysters larvae are attracted to the shells we plant and then create a self sustaining oyster reef over time,” he explained. “It’s important because oysters are a very important species to our local waterways. They have huge ecological impacts due to the benefits they provide to the water.”

Hodges says oysters filter the water and protect the shoreline from erosion and provide habitat to over 130 different species in our waterways.

“With this program, we strictly construct reefs for ecological benefit. DNR does plant shells for harvest, but the majority of the reefs we build are in areas that are closed to shellfishing due to water quality issues.”

The public is welcome to come out and volunteer at the event. For more information, please click here.