MOG Lauren Broccoletti, Virginia Beach Friends School Middle School Science Lead Teacher, Leads Chesapeake Bay Shoreline Restoration Project

 

Overview:

Virginia Beach Friends School in partnership with Ludford Brothers Oyster Company has received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund to begin a “Chesapeake Bay Shoreline Restoration Project”. The project will take place on a one-acre marsh area located in Long Creek (Lynnhaven Inlet) in Virginia Beach, VA. Ludford Brothers Oyster Company acquired the marsh area for the purpose of being used as an oyster seed nursery to jump start seed oysters in the high flow and nutrient rich currents of Long Creek. Due to a combination of factors such as wave action/boat wake, dieback of marsh vegetation, sea level rise, etc.… this area is experiencing a high rate of erosion. The goal of this project is to maintain and enhance the existing marsh habitat by creating a balance between marsh erosion and accretion and to increase the number of wild oyster in the project area.

 

This project will generate environmental information by regular monitoring of sediment deposition and accretion rates, oyster population measurements, marsh grass density, motile fauna counts, and environmental parameters to include: water temperature, turbidity, salinity, and dissolved oxygen.

 

Students in grades 6 through 8 will begin regularly scheduled monitoring during first week of September, 2016 and continue on a bi-monthly schedule through 12 months of the project life, and over the next 4 years using alternative funding to evaluate marsh shoreline changes and the establishment of mature wild oysters.

 

Data will be recorded by students in field notebooks and transferred into electronic format.

 

 

Goal:

To maintain and enhance the existing marsh habitat by creating a balance between marsh erosion and accretion and to increase the number of wild oyster in the project area.

 

Solutions:

Recycled Oyster Shell Barrier- Tubular mesh webbing filled with saved shell to make 28” long bags placed in  a continuous row parallel to the marsh line, barrier will collect wild oyster strike, eventually growing a reef.

Benefit- Absorb wave energy, trap sediments, filter water, create habitat.

 

Recycled Crab Pots- Discarded crab pots flattened and anchored to the marsh line, creating a “netting” for      erosion control and foundation for recycled oyster shell barrier.

Benefit- Creates a foundation for recycled oyster shell barrier, aids in erosion control by stabilizing sediments  and marsh grasses, keeps pots out of landfills and from becoming marine debris.