According to the Nature Conservancy, 85% of the world's oyster reef habitat has been lost, primarily due to overfishing, disease, storms, and alterations to water quality and natural flow. There are global efforts to help restore this valuable habitat, including here in northwest Florida. Several students worked together to bag oyster shell which is collected from local restaurants and ultimately end up in reefs created in coastal waterways here in NWFL. Did you know that a single adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per DAY? Creating oyster reefs not only helps create more of this valuable habitat, but it helps improve water quality also!
Many students participated in a coastal cleanup removing an entire trailer of trash from the area around Project Greenshores. Project Greenshores is one of the largest seagrass, saltmarsh and oyster reef ecosystem restoration projects in NWFL. This is located on the Pensacola side of the 3 mile bridge which crosses Pensacola Bay. Garbage this close to a body of water is not only an obvious eye-sore, but it is also a threat to coastal species and water quality.