Wild Oyster restoration
The Wild Oyster Project's aim is to bring native oysters back to San Francisco Bay using the best available science, making use of best practices of ongoing successful restoration projects and engaging the public through education and stewardship. We are bringing out the oyster lovers in our communities and not just because they love to eat oysters. Our oysters, the wild ones we are trying to save, are quite the busy ecosystem engineers. They provide habitat for all kinds of other critters such as salmon, smelt and crabs and beautiful birds like oyster catchers, egrets and scoters.
Our oyster-loving communities are involved from the ground, er, shore, up! They help to deploy oyster recruitment tools such as oyster gardens and necklaces and act as citizen scientists by monitoring just how many baby oysters (spat) are enticed onto provided substrate to make it their permanent home.
We have created a model project in Alameda - "Oyster Island City" to showcase how communities can unite to restore oysters and in the process, help the entire Bay!
Much of the island is low-lying and marshy. As sea levels rise, marshy and shallow habitats surrounding the city of Alameda are increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather events. Low-lying upland areas are also at risk of flooding. Natural reef structures, such as Oyster Island City, present a strong and permanent structural response to these concerns, providing a natural and inexpensive alternative to shoreline armoring. Oyster reefs provide a natural benefit to the ecology by filtering water and aiding to clean the Bay, as well as providing essential habitat for coastal fish, birds, and other organisms including a number of threatened and endangered species in the state of California.