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New Hampshire

Great Bay Oyster Restoration Program

There's A Pearl In Our Oyster Work

DOWNLOADS:
2013 Oyster Restoration Report (new March 2014)
2013 Oyster Conservationist Report (new March 2014)
Great Bay Oyster Restoration Fact Sheet (new April 2014)

The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) has historically played a vital role in the ecology of Great Bay Estuary. As many as 1,000 acres of live oyster reef may have covered the estuary in1970, but now over 90% of oysters are lost due to pollution, harvest, and disease. Without oysters, Great Bay Estuary is lacking the natural filtration capacity to maintain healthy eelgrass beds as nitrogen and siltation increase.

The Nature Conservancy and The University of New Hampshire, together with other partners, are again teaming up to rebuild degraded oyster reef habitat in the Piscataqua Region Estuary of New Hampshire and Maine. Thanks to support from dedicated members like you, the program has successfully restored more than six acres of reef and 1.2M oysters to the system since 2009. Oysters are an ecological linchpin of the estuary, providing essential fish habitat and water quality regulation services. This year, the team has permits and funding in place to significantly scale up efforts with an additional five acres and 1M oysters expected to be re-established.

From the volunteer oyster conservationists who raise young spat in cages off their docks to the scientists who reconstruct historic reef sites for the juvenile oysters to call home, our approach literally takes a village. Below are just a few of our many stories!



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Oyster Conservation and Restoration

New Hampshire Estuary Spatial Planning Project

Oyster Conservationist Program

Dive Deeper: Oyster Archives

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