News

Oyster gardening finishes up season

By: PJ Waters / Published: Nov 21,  2016

Oyster gardening in Alabama and Mississippi has wrapped up another successful season. In Alabama, we completed our 15th year, with more than 58,000 oysters grown by volunteers for planting on restoration sites. In total, the Alabama program has planted nearly 750,000 advanced stocker oysters on various restoration sites in Mobile Bay.

The Mississippi program wrapped up its inaugural pilot season of oyster gardening. This program is possible by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. A partnership with Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has been created to facilitate the project which will mirror the Alabama program in many ways. Volunteers will be provided with oyster spat in the summer, gardens within which to grow the spat and information on how to care for them. In the Fall/Winter, all the oysters will be collected and planted on Mississippi restoration sites as a component of larger restorative efforts. The pilot sites for 2016 produced nearly 1,400 oysters each, exceeding the historical average of 1,100 per site. This is a great indication of the potential Oyster Gardening in Mississippi has. 

Restoration oysters grown by volunteers. The clump on the left holds 38 oysters from a single shell.
Restoration oysters grown by volunteers. The clump on the left holds 38 oysters from a single shell.

If you are interested in more information, and potentially being an Alabama or Mississippi Oyster Gardener, contact us at oystergardening@masgc.org.

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