Living Shoreline Oyster Update

September 23, 2016

Our restoration team went out to monitor our Raritan Bay living shoreline reef on September 16. Our living shoreline is housed on Naval Weapons Station Earle property and is composed of 0.91 acres of oyster castles (aka homes for the oysters). The project will determine if a living shoreline is an effective method to reduce shoreline erosion in our urban estuary.
We noticed upon our monitoring that the castles stayed in place and did not have too much sediment accumulation. This is very positive since we had very rough seas when the Hurricane Hermine was making her way through our region. Fish, blue crabs, and spider crabs were observed in and among the castles, along with several fouling organisms. Approximately 15 species were observed in total which is great news for biodiversity and habitat restoration!
Even more exciting is that the growth of our oysters was unbelievable! They were no more than 3mm when they went out and now the average size is 17mm!! Incredible for 4 weeks with survivorship was 80%!
We will be monitoring again next week. Stay tuned!
Meredith Comi
Restoration Program Director