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Public-private partnership seeks to restore oyster population

 A team of public and private entities embarked from Middlesex last Wednesday to continue work on local reefs and the results could be striking.

An oyster reef restoration project in the Piankatank River will be the biggest of its kind in the world when completed, thanks in part to $1.75 million of additional funding allocated at the state level.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission, VCU-led Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a private environmental group, The Nature Conservancy, collaborated on the day’s efforts.

With the help of local waterman Captain Shannon Green and his associates at W.E. Kellum Seafood at Weems on the Northern Neck, 100 tons of crushed stone substrate was added to the site of an existing reef to create a new environment for oyster spat to strike and develop.

In total, the reef will be around 425 acres when completed, though last Wednesday only around 15 acres was covered by restoration ...

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