Environment
10:19 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

WATCH: Oyster Restoration Project in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Watch members and volunteers move sacks of shells to create a habitat for oysters.
Credit Alex Cook / WUSF News

Volunteers led by the non-profit environmental group Tampa Bay Watch shoveled, bagged, and moved fourteen tons of fossilized shells to Schultz Nature Preserve, restoring a home for oysters to thrive in the bay.

"It does three really good things for the environment here in Tampa Bay," said Kevin Misiewicz, an environmental scientist with Tampa Bay Watch.  "It helps stabilize the shoreline and prevents erosion, it helps to create a habitat for fish and birds and other wildlife, as well as filtration."

Misiewicz said a single oyster in their habitat can filter about ten gallons of water per hour, making them an important part of the bay's ecosystem.

Students from Tampa's King High School joined the volunteers to help create the hard bottom habitat.  Misiewicz said teachers come to his organization for its educational programs, and end up volunteering in restoration projects.

More information on programs and volunteer opportunities can be found at www.tampabaywatch.org.

See the oyster restoration project in the video below.