With help from the U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team at Milford Haven, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation last week placed over 200,000 seed oysters on a nursery reef in the Piankatank River.
Tommy Leggett, oyster restoration and fisheries scientist at CBF’s Virginia Oyster Restoration Center, said the foundation has placed close to 30 million oysters on four reefs in the Piankatank over the past five years.
"We hope to bring back the ecological function of oysters in the river," he said. "Plus the protected oysters will spawn and their larvae will go everywhere."
The Piankatank is a seed river, Leggett explained, and the reefs there are protected from commercial activity, so the oysters can grow, develop disease resistance, and spawn lots of healthy babies.
"The strong ones live and the weak ones die," he said. "It takes time, but it’s happening."