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Marsh and Oyster Reef Restoration

Virginia

A smiling woman crouches in shallow water near an array of oyster castles, large square blocks of interlocking concrete used to build oyster reefs. The reefs are placed in narrow clusters behind her.
Building Oyster Reefs Volunteer Andi Clinton works on a foundation tier of oyster castles at Man and Boy Marsh. © Gwynn Crichton / TNC

Overview

Volunteers are needed for a variety of oyster and marsh restoration projects this summer. Connect with nature and other TNC supporters!


OYSTER CASTLE DROPOFF

  • Tuesday July 13: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 27: 12:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Friday July 30: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

12 Volunteers (6 per boat) are needed for loading oyster castle blocks and dropping them off at the marsh restoration site. This is labor intensive work; volunteers will be moving 30-pound concrete oyster castles blocks. Meet at Wachapreague boat ramp past the Coast Guard station. 


OYSTER CASTLE INSTALLATION

  • Wednesday August 4: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
  • Thursday August 5: 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Up to 16 volunteers (8 per boat) are needed to assemble oyster castle blocks to build functional oyster habitat that will be capable of keeping up with sea level rise.

Volunteers will be moving 30-pound concrete oyster castles blocks for several hours. This is labor intensive work that requires volunteers to spend most of the day outside, on the water, in varying depths, with a firm bottom composed of loose shell. Most importantly, volunteers must be able to repeatedly move 30-pound concrete oyster castle pieces. Wearing waders is recommended. Meet at the Wachapreague boat ramp past the coast guard station.


OYSTERCATCHER SUBSTRATE CONSTRUCTION

  • Wednesday August 11: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Thursday August 12: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Help build substrate that will be used to construct functional oyster habitat capable of keeping up with sea level rise. 6 volunteers are needed each day to mix concrete and roll burlap through the concrete. This is labor intensive work that requires volunteers to spend hours bending over and lifting 10-15 lbs.

Wear old clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. The work will take place at the Brownsville Shop near the VVCR office in Nassawadox.


OYSTERCATCHER SUBSTRATE INSTALLATION

  • Thursday August 19: 10:30 am - 2:00 pm

Up to 16 volunteers (8 per boat) are needed for installing oystercatcher substrate, moving pieces of marsh peet around and picking up any trash. This is labor intensive work that requires volunteers to spend most of the day outside, on the water, in varying depths. Meet at the Wachapreague boat ramp past the Coast Guard station.


To sign up, contact Jen Dalke, volunteer program manager, at jdalke@tnc.org, 540-335-1302 (c). Volunteers must read and sign our COVID field guidelines and health screening questions. Guidelines include having a mask readily accessible if working less than 6' apart, bringing hand sanitizer and confirming you have health insurance.