2017 ORES Research Update

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office has released its annual update on research under way as part of its Oyster Reef Ecosystem Services (ORES) project. ORES includes NCBO field work on fish utilization of restored reefs, NCBO-funded research by partner institutions on Bay species’ use of restored reef areas as well as denitrification carried out by reefs and their associated communities, and computer modeling to explore ecosystem and economic benefits of restored reefs.

While research is still in progress—and sampling in 2016 was carried out on reefs that had been planted with baby oysters only a year prior—in the 2017 Oyster Reef Ecosystem Services (ORES) Research Update, scientists some trends at and near restored reefs, including enhanced nitrogen removal, increased oyster biomass, increased density and biomass of macrofauna (used as food by fish and crabs), additional foraging habitat for fish, new seagrass colonization, and measurable positive effects on water column health.