Keep our waterways healthy: Build an oyster reef
By Michael Mark | Want more fish? Then, come and help us all do something about it. There are so many things to do in Beaufort this time of year and it can be a bit overwhelming. If you fish, the redfish are here in mass and starting to bite. Some of the guides are finding trout and flounder and for those with a real serious touch, the sheepshead are out there. The cobia are showing up and soon you will be able to walk across the Broad River in a trail, from boat to boat. Nothing beats the Broad River for cobia season.
This brings me to my point. None of this happens in places that do not have a healthy habitat.
Our rivers are homes and also feeding grounds for all of these species and the better we care for Beaufort’s waterways, the more opportunities we will have to enjoy this precious resource and its bounty for years and years to come.
You can help.
On Thursday May 15th, the Coastal Conservation Association and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resource’s SCORE program are building an oyster reef at Whitehall Landing on Lady’s Island from 2 to 5pm. Volunteers are needed to help move the bags of oysters, and a few are needed with boats to shuttle people.
The build and restoration part of the SCORE program works with local citizen groups to conduct actual habitat restoration projects and to monitor the success of those efforts. Projects involved building new reefs with recycled shells for recruitment of oyster larvae. As these pilot reefs begin to recruit new oysters and attract other critters of the estuary, they are being used as living classrooms and research platforms. Volunteer citizens are critical to monitoring the new reefs throughout the year to increase our understanding of how best to restore oyster habitats.
If you want to help out, please call 843-812-6023 with any questions you may have. This is perfect for groups and outings for high school-aged children.
As for any SCORE event, please wear closed-toed shoes and clothes you do not mind getting a little dirty. Water, gloves, sunscreen and bug spray will be provided for you. There will be cups for water but volunteers are asked to be eco-friendly and bring a refillable bottle.
Please volunteer and help protect Beaufort’s waterways.