We have almost reached the end of the Mississippi Oyster Gardening season! Next week, we will pick up the oysters from our volunteer sites. The oysters have been in the water for 5 months. From there, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will plant them onto restoration reefs, where they can continue to grow and reproduce.
They will provide additional habitat for numerous species (including commercially and recreationally important fishes), as well as enhance water quality through filtration.
Our two high-school sites will be keeping their oysters until May, so that they can continue to observe and measure them.
We recently collected half of the oysters from St. Stanislaus High School, so that the remaining oysters would have space to grow for the next 6 months. Those 6,000 oysters were the first bunch of the season, and we are hopeful that the rest of the site produce oysters that are as healthy and plentiful!
Now that the season is coming to an end, we are already looking ahead to next season, and we hope to add many new gardeners in 2019. Oyster gardening is a fun, easy way to get involved in coastal restoration right on your own pier. If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming an oyster gardener, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!