Monday, August 10, 2009

Oyster Domes

I just realized that I never went about explaining to you what my previous pictures at MacDill Air Force Base showed. Well, these are what we call Oyster Domes. They are concrete structures with holes and porous areas to which oysters can readily adhere and grow. They are used heavily in the Tampa Bay area, especially by a group called Tampa Bay Watch, that uses them along seawalls and shorelines to restore hard bottom habitat, improve water quality and reduce shoreline erosion. These are being used in new and innovative ways to help restore oyster habitat in Tampa Bay. The hope is that once oysteer habitat is restored, other species that depend on similar habitat types (such as seagrass and larger fish species) will also recieve habitat benefits. This is a positive solution to habitat degredation in bay that will ultimately help the local fishing community, commercial fisheries (by providing a nursery habitat), the shipping industry (by reducing erosion to the navigational channels), and to all tourists and residents (by improving water quality). Big props to MacDill Air Force Base that is working on finding ways to integrate Oyster Domes into their shoreline features!

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