Oyster reefs are also an excellent environmental solution to boost resiliency and protect coastal areas and ecosystems.
These reefs combined with breakwaters, provide ecological benefits by improving water quality, reducing coastal erosion and attenuating wave energy.
Ocean Equities and CoastWatch are actively promoting subtidal oyster reef restoration in Chesapeake Bay.
Taylor Island Site
Projects on Taylor Island (eastern shore) and Point Lookout (western shore) provide coastal resiliency and habitat benefits by reducing waves, tidal currents and reestablishing benthic habitat.
The Maryland Shore Erosion Task Force (MSETF) estimated that more than 260 acres of tidal shoreline are lost each year in Maryland (MSETF 2000). In the 10 years preceding 2000, 18 miles of shoreline were hardened in Virginia and more than 300 miles of tidal shoreline armored in Maryland. A hardened shoreline does protect property, and it does not provide a viable or natural habitat for the Bay’s living resources. The Army Corps of Engineers estimated that for every dollar spent to control tidal erosion, as much as $1.75 is returned to the economy as improvements to resources, including SAV, fish, benthic organisms, shellfish, waterfowl and wetland habitat (ACOE 1990).
Dorothy Leonard is an internationally recognized expert in best management practices (BMPs) for restoring shellfish reefs and shellfish populations. As a pioneer in the assessment of shellfish declines and methodology to restore reefs for ecological services and commercial harvest, she developed a BMP approach to reef restoration that uses repurposed materials such as rock, limestone, concrete and other available materials to reduce costs and ensure sustainability. Ms. Leonard has over 40 years of research and management in the fields of coastal management, estuarine dynamics, water quality assessment and public health.
Charles J. Klein is a registered professional engineer with over 40 years of experience. His tenure as federal civil servant involved work with USACE, USEPA, and NOAA and focused on various estuarine and coastal assessments. Upon federal retirement in 2003 Mr. Klein started Coastwatch Engineering which specializes in the development of coastal infrastructure, shoreline protection and restoration. He continues to expand his interest in the development of innovative approaches which integrate living components to develop sustainable and resilient solutions