Lynnhaven Aquaculture Center

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Lynnhaven Aquaculture Center

What is the next step in restoring oysters? At LRNow, we think the next step is bringing oysters back to areas of the river farther from the inlet, where few oysters can be found today. Oysters are making a comeback in Broad Bay, Linkhorn Bay and areas close to the Inlet. There is ample evidence of this along the shorelines, on dock pilings and on our oyster castles. We have made amazing progress over the past decade. But the same thing is not true as you move up the river into the headwaters. As you go into any of the three branches of the river, you will see fewer and fewer oysters.
To improve that, LRNow wants to be able to bring oysters to these areas of the river. To that end, we are working with the City of Virginia Beach to design and build a spat –on-shell facility, the Lynnhaven Aquaculture Center (LAC). We hope to open the LAC in spring 2015. There, we will be able to set spat (baby oysters) on oyster castle blocks or oyster shell before they are used to construct sanctuary reef. We will use these blocks and shells with baby oysters already on them to build sanctuary reefs in areas farther up the river. We anticipate that this will help us to reintroduce oysters to some of these areas, jump starting the resurgence of our oyster population in these areas of the river and bringing all the benefits that oysters provide.
Restoring our native oysters to the Lynnhaven has been a central focus of Lynnhaven River NOW’s work from the beginning of our organization and we have experienced some significant success toward this goal. We currently have 63 acres of sanctuary oyster reef, have built two oyster castle shoreline projects and worked with homeowners to build five other oyster castle shorelines. The LAC is the next step and will expand the possibilities for oyster restoration.
The past two years have seen rapid growth in oyster shoreline with oyster castles making shoreline oyster reefs possible in many new areas. Currently, more than 40 Lynnhaven homeowners have expressed interest in oyster castles for their shoreline. Right now, we are only able to recommend these projects be built in areas where there is good natural oyster settlement. The Lynnhaven Aquaculture Center will expand to areas where these projects are possible and homeowners practice good shoreline management, ultimately, continuing to help our oysters multiply.
The drawing below illustrates our concept of the facility when it is fully functional. The best location is being determined.

2017-07-25T20:08:02+00:00 July 28th, 2013|WPL Blog, WPL News|0 Comments

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