This How-to Guide provides educators with step-by-step instructions for building oyster sentinel structures with students.

Oyster sentinels are created using oyster shell, concrete and ReadyReef, Inc. pyramid molds. These structures are then put in tanks by ReadyReef, Inc. with live spat so that striking and oyster growth can occur. Once the spat grows to a certain size, the structures are placed within the Rappahannock River and its tributaries. The structures are placed on private oyster sanctuary grounds or in front of living shorelines to buffer wave energy. Each structure is the home to about 100 oysters which can filter up to 5,000 gallons a day!

Please contact Lowery Becker,, if you have any questions. We hope you enjoy our guide!

Funding provided by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bay Watershed Education and Training grant.