Oyster Restoration in the Lafayette River

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In April 2012, the Lafayette River was selected for restoration efforts. As a tributary of the Elizabeth River, it has many of the same benefits and risks as does the Elizabeth, with the added challenge of being completely contained within the city of Norfolk (and subject to the actions of its 242,000 residents). In April 2011, a plan was presented by the Elizabeth River Project that aimed to improve water quality and allow some harvest of oysters by 2014. This plan places an emphasis on home- and community-based efforts to reduce pollution and decrease bacteria levels in the river. Other small-scale efforts have been funded by NOAA and will be implemented by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Elizabeth River Project, including rebuilding of oyster reefs and wetlands. These efforts kick-started the larger-scale restoration involving data collection, analysis, mapping, and development of the Lafayette River Oyster Restoration Tributary Plan, which will guide the large-scale restoration.

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