Mosquito Lagoon is a shallow-water estuary where boat wakes have been identified as an important source of oyster loss. Wakes erode sediment from bases of oyster clusters and these now-loose clusters create mounds of shell that extend above the high tide line. To restore the original oyster reef footprint, volunteers prepare mats with stabilized oyster shell that will not be dislodged in areas with significant boat wake energy. Since 2007, over 49,000 community members have contributed their time to producing and deploying suitable substrate for the recruitment of over 1 million oysters. Collectively, we have finished restoring reefs in boundaries of Canaveral National Seashore in 2016, but the project is ongoing until at least 2020. We are still restoring, but now more focused on monitoring and looking at the social and ecosystem-level impacts of restoration.
Staff and volunteers collected discarded oyster shells from local restaurants to create over 4,700 oyster bags to restore 1,000 feet of quickly eroding shoreline along the Tolomato River in Northern St. Johns County. The site, open to the public via one of the GTMNERR’s beautiful trails, is home to 33 reef sections consisting of 144 bags of shell each, utilizing over 125,000 pounds of shell. The reefs act as buffers against incoming boat wakes from large vessels on the ICW, and create habitats for a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates.
Located at 501 5th Ave. Indialantic, FL 32903, the Living Shoreline Demonstration Site will feature 525 ft. of restored shoreline and will be constructed using a combination of recycled and gardened oysters in addition to native Florida vegetation situated along the eastern shore of the Indian River Lagoon. This demonstration site will be subdivided into distinct modules to showcase the various design concepts available to local waterfront property owners. Designs will incorporate a combination of oyster reefs, salt marsh grasses, and mangroves to demonstrate specific "living shoreline" concepts in front of three types of shorelines: natural beach, riprap, and seawall. Cost will also be considered with each design so property owners can determine which design best suits their property’s needs as well as their budget. The secondary focus of thisproject is to reduce erosion and damaged to the properties and to provide high quality habitat for oyster recruitment and growth.
This site is located in downtown Stuart along the Riverwalk boardwalk. This region of the estuary has the most extensive oyster reefs and typically has the most optimal salinities for oyster growth and survival. The site is also highly visible to the public and served as the initial shoreline restoration site for Martin County’s Oyster Reef Restoration Project. The MC Oyster Reef Restoration Project was borne out of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Federal Stimulus Project), ultimately resulting in 28 acres of oyster reef restoration in the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee Rivers. The goal of this project was not only oyster enhancement, but living shoreline restoration as well with oyster reefs protecting marsh grass and mangrove plantings. Currently about 9,000 square feet of oyster reef has been restored at this site with the assistance of ~1,000 volunteers contributing over 2,000 hours to constructing these reefs. All the reefs are constructed out of oyster shell recycled from local restaurants. Almost all reefs are populated from wild oyster recruitment, but some experimental of select reefs has been performed. The overall goals of this project are to enhance oyster populations as this site and protect the shoreline from erosion.