Volunteers to Build Oyster Beds in Upper Newport Bay

Orange County Coastkeeper project to restore the shoreline

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More than 20 volunteers will get their feet wet with a new way to protect local marine life by providing habitat for the native Olympia oyster in Upper Newport Bay. Coastkeeper’s Living Shorelines project strategically places natural materials like oyster shell and eelgrass to protect the shoreline from erosion and rising sea levels. The sustainable project improves water quality and provides habitat to attract fish, crustaceans and other marine life.

Coastkeeper and hundreds of volunteers have already planted more than 2,500 square meters of eelgrass in the last five years. For the first time, Coastkeeper will expand this project by creating habitat for the nearly extinct native Olympia oysters. This innovative project will provide the benefits of restoring eelgrass and oysters simultaneously.

WHY: Coastkeeper says in order to keep pace with future sea level rise and other climate related stresses, conservation and restoration of these key habitat-forming species must happen now. Since the 1990s, more than 85 percent of the world’s oyster reefs have disappeared according to The Nature Conservancy. Living Shoreline habitats provide a flourishing coastal habitat to attract and preserve marine life, reduce erosion and stabilize shorelines.

VISUALS:

  • Volunteers walking along the shore with crates and standing in water placing oyster shells on the ocean floor
  • Bags and buckets full of oyster shells
  • Volunteers carrying restoration supplies to the bay

WHEN:

  • Saturday, April 29
  • 5 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

WHERE:

  • Parking: Southwind Kayak Center Rental Base
    • 100 N Bayside Dr, Newport Beach, CA 92660

WHO:

  • Katie Nichols, Orange County Coastkeeper Marine Restoration Director
  • 20-25 volunteers restoring oyster shells

ORANGE COUNTY COASTKEEPER: Founded in 1999, the mission of Coastkeeper is to protect and promote sustainable water resources that are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable. Coastkeeper is a nonprofit clean water organization that serves as a proactive steward of our fresh- and saltwater ecosystems. We work collaboratively with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the region. We implement innovative, effective programs in education, advocacy, restoration, research, enforcement, and conservation. For more information, visit www.coastkeeper.org or call 714.850.1965.

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