Florida Oyster Reef Restoration

A volunteer helps to restore oyster reefs at Florida's Mosquito Lagoon, part of the Indian River Lagoon restoration project.

The project starts on land, where volunteers help make "oyster mats" by tying shells to environmentally safe mesh.

More than 9,200 volunteers have created 8,200 mats since the project began in 2005.

In addition to making and deploying the mats, volunteers rake the "dead margins" (piles of dead oyster shells).

Volunteers enjoyed being out in a stunning setting with dolphins and osprey feeding around them.

A hydrologic excavator raked 12 sites in two days, a job that would have taken volunteers two years to complete!

From the air, you can see restored reef beneath the water's surface. More than 1,400 oyster mats were installed.

Finished oyster mats lie beneath the water's surface.

In Indian River Lagoon, a total of 20 acres of reef have been restored with oyster mats so far.