Oyster Sentinel
Shell Budget

This featured project uses shell budgets as a tool in oyster restoration and fishery management. Investigators are Roger Mann of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Tom Soniat of the University of New Orleans, Eric Powell of the University of Southern Mississippi, John Klinck of Old Dominion University, and Patrick Banks of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The objective of the project, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/ Shell Marine Habitat Program, is to support conservation and restoration of oyster reef habitat. The focus is on Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds of the State of Louisiana. We critically examine the rate functions that drive both the creation of oyster habitat and its loss in a large-scale environmental management application. As such, we provide a critical tool for restoration and maintenance of native oyster populations that insures both maximum productivity and assured longevity of the oyster habitat and the populations it supports. Such a habitat based restoration tool is applicable to oyster restoration projects nationwide.

Click here for a shell budget demonstration model to simulate reef shell loss or gain.