SeaWorld Orlando team members spent a hot July day with The Nature Conservancy at Mosquito River Lagoon in Merritt Island, Florida. They worked hard to create a quilt of oyster mats in knee deep water designed to re-establish damaged oyster beds.
This project was necessary because over time boat wakes have dislodged oyster beds slowly killing the reefs. The new beds designed by The Conservancy are restoring the reefs because they can withstand the boat wakes.
All of the oyster mats were made by volunteers at events across the state. By the end of August, SeaWorld will have hosted at least 10 mat making events and team members and Adventure Campers will have made hundreds of oyster mats.
Once enough mats have been made they are taken to the Mosquito River Lagoon where weights are used to secure them to the bottom of the lagoon along the shoreline. Juvenile oyster will settle on these mats within one year of the mats being placed.
Oysters are a very important animal because they filter the water and stabilize an eroding coastline. Oysters also provide a healthy ecosystem that offers a prime nursery for fish, crab, shrimp and other critters.
For more information on this project visit www.nature.org.