From the Bottom Up
Restoring Oyster Reefs in
A video from
Maryland Sea Grant
VHS format, 12 minutes
Oyster reefs once lined the shallow edges of the Chesapeake Bay, providing key habitat for fish and other organisms that make up the Bay's rich estuarine food web. Often hidden by the murky waters of the Chesapeake, oyster reefs have generally been out of sight - an unseen and underappreciated part of the Chesapeake ecosystem, now largely destroyed by disease and overfishing.
A research team led by Dr. Kennedy Paynter has been studying and documenting the growth and survival of restored oyster reefs - using an underwater camera to record the way the reefs grow and develop. What has emerged from these tapes is a new appreciation for the habitat the reefs provide for fish, for crabs, for countless worms, anemones, and other Bay life. Building reefs up off the bottom, researchers have found, not only helps the oysters grow and reproduce, but also returns vital habitat to the Chesapeake ecosystem.
For more information about oyster restoration, visit the web at www.mdsg.umd.edu/oysters/index.html.