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Vertical Oyster Gardening

A Table-to-Reef Initiative

The Charlotte Harbor estuary is one of the most productive in SWFL, and is a valuable habitat that provides many benefits to wildlife and our economy.  These include protection from strong storms, tourism, recreational activities, and crucial feeding and nursery grounds for fish and birds.

Although beautiful, Charlotte Harbor faces many challenges in terms of water quality due to excess nutrients and pollutants, intensive boating activity, alteration of shorelines, and coastal development.

The solution?  Oysters!

Oysters are excellent water filters, with one oyster filtering 50 gallons of water per day.  The more oysters there are in the harbor, the better the water quality becomes.  Dredging, pollution, and development have eliminated the hard structures needed for oyster colonization. Creating oyster gardens provides these necessary structures, creates larger reefs, and improves water quality.

CHEC is leading educational workshops that will provide discussions regarding the importance of our harbor, the challenges it faces, and what we can do to help.  Join us as we lead participants in creating their very own vertical oyster gardens made from shells recycled from local restuarants.  These gardens will hang off docks, in hopes of colonizing oyster spat.  The oyster strands will be collected and added to an existing oyster reef in Charlotte Harbor.

Upcoming Workshops:

More Information Coming Soon!

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