BRUNSWICK — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) recently partnered with Coastal Conservation Association-GA (CCAGA) to complete an oyster restoration project on Oatland Island, Richardson Creek in Savannah.
The site is in an area adjacent to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center nature trail.
Using GADNR and CCAGA small vessels, staff and volunteers deployed cultch — oyster-friendly material — at the site in April.
Around 913 bags of recycled oyster shells, with a combined weight of more than six tons, 45 wooden pallets and 24 bamboo spat sticks were deployed along .02 acre of inter-tidal shoreline.
GADNR provided oyster reef restoration project planning, state and federal permitting, site assessments, use of the recycled oyster-shell bagging machine, six staff members and two vessels.
CCAGA, through its conservation and habitat committee, provided oyster-shell bagging materials, bagged recycled oyster shells, wooden pallets, the use of one vessel, and volunteers from Ashland Corporation.
Oatland Island Wildlife Center provided access to their parking lot as a materials staging area, as well as use of their dock.
Oyster-reef restoration sites along Richardson Creek have been clearly marked with signs.
The public is asked to not disturb these areas, as they are experimental shellfish-restoration and enhancement sites.
The project was funded by state fishing-license fees, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration and the Georgia Natural Resources Foundation. Material donations were provided by CCAGA.
The Oatland Island project is the 11th oyster-reef restoration project completed by the GADNR and the third restoration project completed in partnership with the CCAGA.