Oyster Restoration in the Lynnhaven River

Lynnhaven River has been the center of many community-based restoration and oyster shell recycling efforts over the past few decades. In recent years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ahs constructed 58 acres of oyster reef in the river and plans to construct 30 more acres. NOAA, state efforts like the Virginia Oyster Heritage Program, and nonprofit organizations including Lynnhaven River NOW, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Oyster Reef Keepers of Virginia have performed smaller-scale restoration involving students and citizen groups. Most of these projects have involved the creation of artificial reefs and adding spat-on-shell to these reefs. These projects have seen some measureable progress and have increased the oyster population in the Lynnhaven dramatically.

The Lynnhaven was chosen for restoration partly because of these previous efforts, its sufficient water quality, and evidence that Lynnhaven oysters have developed some resistance to disease. In addition, it is one of only three tributaries in Virginia that are currently closed to oyster harvesting (except aquaculture), which will allow existing and implemented populations to grow and reproduce. The Chesapeake Bay Program's Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team plans to determine whether the Lynnhaven River already meets the restoration standards set forth in the oyster metrics, and will determine next steps after the data has been collected and analyzed. NOAA and the Army Corps are cochairing this effort.

How Close Are Oysters in the Lynnhaven River to Being "Restored"?


Progress Report: TBD after Tributary Analysis

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