Phase two of oyster restoration project about to begin - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Phase two of oyster restoration project about to begin

The goal is to restore oyster fisheries in the sound by planting cultch material on several reefs. (Photo source: WLOX) The goal is to restore oyster fisheries in the sound by planting cultch material on several reefs. (Photo source: WLOX)
MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) -

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is preparing to move into phase two of an oyster restoration project in the western Mississippi Sound.

Phase one of the project started in May. The goal is to restore oyster fisheries in the sound by planting cultch material on several reefs. Cultch is shell or similar materials produced by living organisms that provide attachment points for oysters.

“The purpose of this project is to restore Mississippi’s oyster reefs and increase future production,” said Erik Broussard, director of MDMR’s Shellfish Bureau. “By the end of the year, we will have planted more than 600 acres of cultch material. We also will do an additional planting next spring to continue restoration efforts.”

Phase two of the project will target Pass Christian, Henderson Point, Pass Marianne, and St. Joe reefs.

The project is being funded by NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service in response to the 2011 opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Louisiana, which damaged oyster and crab fisheries in the sound.

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