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Oyster Reef Balls Placed Off Bayshore

Published: May 8, 2005

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TAMPA - A project to help improve marine life and water quality in Tampa Bay got a boost earlier this week when members of Tampa Bay Watch joined with volunteers to build an oyster reef in waters off Bayshore Boulevard near Gandy Boulevard.

The placement of concrete reef balls in the shallow waters is designed to promote growth of oysters, which in turn improves water quality through biological filtration. The reefs also foster a habitat for small organisms and create a sanctuary for fish.

Tampa Bay Watch not only installs the reef balls along the Bay's shoreline and in residential canals, but also uses volunteers to install plantings in salt marsh areas. The organization helps restock the Bay with scallops, has a cleanup program to remove fishing lines that are harmful to birds, helps transplant seagrass and aids in marking storm drains to remind citizens not to allow pollutants into the drains.

Staff report



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