Wild Oyster Restoration
The Wild Oyster Project works to bring native oysters back to San Francisco Bay, by using current research and best practices of ongoing successful restoration projects, and by engaging the public through education and stewardship. We are bringing out the oyster lovers in our communities! Our oysters, the wild ones we are trying to save, are busy ecosystem engineers. They provide habitat for many critters such as salmon, smelt and crabs and beautiful birds like oyster catchers and egrets and scoters, and other organisms including a number of threatened and endangered species in the state of California. Oyster reefs benefit us all by filtering water and aiding to clean the Bay.
Our oyster-loving communities are involved from the ground, or rather 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) were 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 Alameda 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 reefs, present a strong and permanent structural response to these concerns, providing a natural and inexpensive alternative to shoreline armoring.