February 21st, 2022 CCA Seminar: Restoration of GA Coast Reefs

February 21, 2022 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Restoration of Georgia’s coastal oyster reefs is the subject of February’s seminar.  Join us on Monday, February 21 at 7:00 PM at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (3 W. Ridge Road) to meet Cameron Atkinson, a master’s student in the Marine Sciences program at Savannah State University.

As an undergraduate, Cameron attended the College of Coastal Georgia where he researched living shorelines and modeled habitat suitability of Red Drum along the coast of Georgia. Currently, Cameron is conducting a project in the Skidaway River to compare two oyster reef restoration approaches to determine which is more effective at developing healthy reefs and provisioning vital habitat for estuarine species.

CCA February Meeting: Restoring Georgia's Oyster Reefs | Skidaway Times

Oysters live in salty or brackish waters on all U.S. coasts, clustering on older shells, rocks, piers, or any hard, submerged surface. They fuse together as they grow, forming rock-like reefs that provide habitat for other marine animals and plants. Today, oyster populations are at historic lows. Outdated harvest methods and overfishing have destroyed or damaged reef structures.

Efforts to restore oyster reefs in Georgia have increased in popularity over the past few decades but there have been some challenges with constructing successful reef complexes. The traditionally utilized restoration material, bagged oyster shell, has been shown to struggle withstanding to the high sedimentation rates along Georgia’s coast. Alongside the bagged shell material, our research group is currently testing a newly created material, Oyster CatcherTM , to determine which is better at generating healthy oyster reefs and functional habitat for sport fish species. We have just completed our first season of data collection for this project and are excited to share some of our findings with you.

The CCA of Skidaway’s February raffle prize will be $100.00 gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops and a Frogg Togg rain suit for a total value of $130.00.  Raffle tickets can be purchased at the event.

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