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Oyster Decision Support Tool Helps Visualize Habitat, Restoration Data

A new online map-based tool developed by the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office provides free and easy access to information on oysters, oyster habitat, and oyster restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Oyster Decision Support Tool (ODST) can be used by people who are planning oyster restoration or aquaculture efforts and by anyone who wants to learn more about oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. It can display many different types of information relevant to planning and tracking oyster restoration. The ODST brings together a number of data sources about oysters, many of which were not readily available before.

Data for the ODST, which came from state and federal agencies working in the Chesapeake, scientists, academic institutions, and nonprofits, include:

  • Maps and graphs of Maryland oyster disease, live oyster count, spatfall, and mortality levels at each oyster bar sampled, by year
  • Dates of oyster-related activities on each bar in Maryland and map layers showing where oyster restoration has occurred
  • Maps and graphs of modeled water-quality data (bottom salinity and temperature)
  • Seafloor mapping in Maryland and Virginia (describing various bottom types such as shell, sand, and mud)
  • Historic oyster reef boundaries (Named Oyster Bars in Maryland and Baylor Grounds in Virginia)
  • Maryland oyster sanctuary and reserve boundaries

ODST will be available for use by oyster restoration practitioners at state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and watershed groups; oyster fishery managers; educators; recreational anglers; scientists; academics; those interested in oyster aquaculture; and others.


Screenshot from Oyster Decision Support Tool