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Shells used to help oyster population

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POSTED: April 20, 2013 9:30 a.m.

Volunteers with the Richmond Hill Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, Ashland Water Technologies, DNR and others smile for a picture.

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A group of local volunteers is doing its part to help revive and maintain marine life in the off the coast of south Bryan County.
Members of the Richmond Hill Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) recently distributed about 28,000 pounds of bagged oyster shells to create an oyster reef in an effort to help build oyster reproduction in the area.
“We put (the bags) at the Florida passage — it’s basically in the Intracoastal Waterway at Marker 99 in between the mouth of the Ogeechee River and the mouth of Redbird Creek,” said Jon Seagraves, president of the Richmond Hill CCA chapter.
The first deployment comes nearly two years after planning began for the project, collecting shells and getting permits from the state Department of Natural Resources, Seagraves said.
After receiving permitting and approval from the DNR, he said more than 30 volunteers from the Richmond Hill CCA Chapter, the DNR and Ashland Water Technologies helped with the deployment of the bags on April 6.
The crew used local shrimp boat, the Grey Ghost manned by Hinton Arnsdorf, to deploy the bags.
“We have to put pallets down in the mud at the low water mark,” he said. “So we put 100 pallets down and we put out 812 bags of oysters — about 30- to 35-pound bags.
“We put (the bags) on top of the pallets, and what happens is the oyster spat will attach to those old oyster shells, and it’ll create a new oyster reef with living oysters, essentially. That process takes about a year to two years to become full grown oysters.”

Read more in the April 20 edition of the News.



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