Oysters, Oysters, Oysters!  So far in 2015, Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) has partnered with five different groups to learn about oyster restoration and construct artificial oyster reefs called oyster sentinals.  Thanks to a grant from the Dominion Foundation our new program is off the ground and full steam ahead.  We have already constructed 40 oyster sentinals and plan to make at least 60 more this season.  In the coming months FOR will be working closely with Ready Reef inc to seed our new oyster sentinals.  This involves the construction of a temporary upweller tank to house the structures. This tank will pump water from the Rappahannock River into the tank where we place the oyster sentinals.  The next step in to add in “Diploid” oyster spat (larvae).  This is the native oyster spat that will produce oysters that are able to reproduce and thrive in our local waterways.  We will leave the structures in the tank with spat for several weeks to allow the spat to strike (attach) to the shell on the sentinals.  After several weeks will will take the structures now seeded with baby oysters to one of several project locations and place them on the River bottom to create our reef systems!  We are always looking for volunteers and if you or a group are interested in assisting with this type of project or learning more about oysters and restoration please contact Richard Moncure or Bryan Hofmann  

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