A little more than a month ago we walked you through a day in the life of the glamorous (albeit smelly) party that picking up oysters for an oyster recycling program is. While all aspects of our recycling program here at the GTM Research Reserve continue, we wanted to take a brief pause from “boogying down” with our oyster shells to bring you some very exciting updates.
|Two of the seven successfully installed sections of oyster reef.|
The BabiesYep! You read it correctly! This party is family friendly, and the “babies” have arrived at our oyster reef! The life cycle of the oyster begins with a free-swimming larval stage that eventually attaches to a hard substrate forming an oyster spat. The spat then begins a growth period that is classified into sub-adult and adult phases. It is with as much pride as any parent that we announce the arrival of our very own oyster spats amongst our completed reef sections. We expect, by the end of the project, to identify many other species benefitting from the restoration of this oyster reef nursery habitat and look forward to sharing those with you in the upcoming project phases!
|Oyster spat on a shell at our restoration site.|
The “Shocking” Announcement
We recently learned that the director and producers of a new (not yet released) and powerful documentary titled SHELLSHOCKED: Saving Oysters to SaveOurselves read about and were so impressed with our community-based efforts that they offered us a pre-screening of the film! The pre-screening event will consist of the 40 minute film, a question-and-answer follow up with film director Emily Driscoll that speaks specifically to what this means to us in NE Florida and a tie-in to our project at the NERR, and finally an oyster tasting/shucking demonstration by the Matanzas Inlet Restaurant. The screening will coincide with the 2012 National Estuaries Day being held September 21st & 22nd. Click here to learn more about the events and to reserve your place!
We wanted to end our updates today with a huge THANK YOU to Lauren Flynn and all of the GTM Research Reserve staff members that made us feel extra special at a recent thank you luncheon put on for us oyster volunteers. We were treated to some amazing food, oyster themed decorations & trivia, and the cutest “oyster” cupcakes you’ve ever seen!
To learn more about the oyster project and volunteer opportunities with the GTM NERR, visit our Volunteer Wiki site at: http://www.gtmvolunteerprojects.wikispaces.com/