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Discarded oyster shells used to build new reefs, protect coast

Discarded oyster shells used to build new reefs, protect coast



YOU. NOW TO OUR INITIATE,IV FORECASTING OUR FUTURE, WHERE WE TAKE A DEEPER DIVE INTO ISSUES THAT EFFECT OUR CHANGING COASTLINE, CLIMATE, AND COMMUNITY. TRAVERS: IT’S NO SUPRISE. WE EAT A LOT OF OYSTERS HERE IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA. BUT THE LAST THI YOUNGRO PBABLY THINK ABOUT IS, WHERE ALL THOSE SHELLS END UP? SULA: THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION. WDSU METEOROLOGIST LEE SOUTHCKWI SHOWS YOU HOW WHAT SOME WOULD CONSIDER TRASH IS ACTUALLY VITAL TO OUR LOCAL ENVIRME.ON >> IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MEAL, AND I’M ENJOYING THESE DELICIOUS OYERS.ST LEE: EVERY DAY, 1.3 MILLION LOUISIANA OYSTERS ARE CONSUMED IN THE.S U. ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, LOUISIANA IS THE TOP OY ERST PRODUCER IN THE COUNTRY. YET, WE HAVE AN OYSTER SHELL DEFICIT. MOST SHELLS REMOVED FROM COASTAL WATERS ARE NOT RETURNED, AND WORSE YET, MANY SHELLS END UP IN LANDFILLS. >>YS OTER SHELLS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR NEW OYSTER GROWTH, SBAO BY OYSTERS ATTACH TO THE SHELLS OF ADULT OR DEAD OYSTERS SO THEY CAGR.OWN SO, WHEN YOU REMOVE A SHELL FROM THE WATER AND IT DOESN’T COME BACK, YOU’RE ACTUALLY DEPLETING THAT NATURAL HABITAT. LEE: THAT’S WHERE THE COALITION TO RESTORE COASTAL LOUISIANA STEPS IN. SINCE 2014, THE GROUP HAS BEEN RECYCLING USED OYSTER SHELLS FROM AREA RESTAURANTS AND USING THEM TO BUILD OYSTER REEFS IN COASTAL WATERS. THESE REEFS IMPROVE WATER QUALITY, PROVIDE FISHING HABITAT, SUPPORT THE LOCAL ECONOMY, AND HELP PROTECT THE SHORELINE. >> SO, NOT ONLY DO OYSTER REEFS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR NEW GROWTH AND ALL SORTS OF SPECIES, THEY’RE ALSO ONE OF THE FIRST LINES OF DEFENSE WHEN STORMS COME IN THROUGH THE GULF. THEY ENCOUNTER OYSTER REEFS FIRST BEFORE BARRIER ISLANDS, BEFORE MARSHES, BEFORE LEVEES, AND SO THEY ACTUALLY CAN HP TOEL DECREASE THAT WAVE ENERGY. AND SO WHAT WE’VE SEEN WITHUR O REEF PROJECTS IS ACTUALLY A 50% REDUCTION IN THE RATE OF MARSH EROSN.IO LEE: THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AN OYSTER REEF BEGINS WITH THOSE OF US WHO LOVE TO DINE ON OYSTERS. THERE ARE CURRENTLY 17EW N ORLEANS AREA RESTAURANTS THAT PARTICIPATE IN SHELL RECYCLI,NG AS WELL AS TWO PUBLIC SHELL DROP OFF SPOTS. >> WILL THE PROGRAM IS GREATND A IT’S JUST SUCH A GOOD BENEF.IT AND SO PARTNERING UP WITH THEM HAS BEEN IDEAL, BECAUSE WE’RE IN E SETHAFOOD BUSINESS. SO IT’S JUST, YOU KNOW, TO PRESERVE WHAT WE’RE DOING, ISTH IS GOING TO HELP PRESERVE THAT ONE ELEMENT OF SEAFOOD IN LOUISIANA, WHICH IS OYSTERS AMONG WITH A THELL OTHER THINGS THAT WE DO. LEE: THE SHELLS ARE THEN TRANSPORTED FROM THE RESTAURANTS TO THE OYSTER SHELL RECYCLING SITE IN VIOLET. THERE, THEY BAKE IN THE SUN FOR SIX MONTHS TO KILL OFF BACTERIA AND BASICALLY TURN THE SHELL INTO ROCK. VOLUNTEERS WITH THE COALITION TO RESTORE COASTAL LOUISIANA THEN BAG THE SHELLS TO CREATE 30 POUND SACKS, THEN TAKE THEM TO THE COAST. ONCE THEY BAG UP, THESE OYSTER SHELLS GROANW D THRIVE AND PROTECT THE LANDS AROUND IT. IF YOU ARE THE BAGS OVERBOARD. ALL OF THE SHELLS WILL PILE UP, THIS IS WHERE THE REEF WILL GROW. BABY OYSTERS WILL ATTACH TO THE SHELLS WE HAVE EATEN AT THE RESTAURANTS. FROM HERE, THE REEF WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND THRIVE AND PROTECT THE LAND AROUND IT. [SPLASHING] THAT REEF IN BAY ADAMS WAS CONSTRUCTED IN TWO PARTS. IT STARTED LAST YEAR WITH 150 TONS OF RECYCLED OYSTER SHELL. >> IT’S REALLY HEARTENING THAT AFTER IDA, LAST YEAR’S WORK THAT WE DID TO EXTEND THE COAST WHIT THESE OYSTERS, IT KEPT WELL. IT’S STILL THERE, WE’LL SEE IT THERE TODAY, AND JUST CONTINUE TO INCREASE FROM IT. LEE: THE SECOND PHASE, COMPLETED JUST THIS YEAR, FINISHED WITH 30 TONS OF SHELL. THAT TOTALS 180 TONS OF RECYCLED SHELL FOR THIS O RNEEEF. THIS IS THE FOURTH REEF BUILDING PROJECT THE COALITION HAS TAKEN ON. >> THE PROGRAM STARTED IN 2014, AND SINCE THEN, WE’VE RECYCLED OVER 10 MILLION POUNDS OF SHELL. >> EAT MORE OYSTERS. BECAUSE THE MORE SHELLS YOU EAT, THE MORE SHELLS WE CAN GIVE TO THEM TO HELP PRESERVE THEES BEDS. LEE: IN LOWER PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LEE SOUTHWICK, WDSU NEWS. TRAVERS: GREAT STORY. IF YOU WANT TO HELP RESTORE OUR COASTLINE, THE COALITION IS INVITING BOTH LOCALS AND THOSE PEOPLE IN TOWN FOR JAZZ FEST TO HEAD TO THEIR NEXT VOLUNTEER EVENT. SULA: THAT’S ON MAY 3 AND 4 IN VIOLET, LOUISIANA, WHEN THE GROUP WILL GATHER TO BAG OYSRTE SH

Discarded oyster shells used to build new reefs, protect coast

Every day, 1.3 million Louisiana oysters are consumed in the United States. According to the Department of Health, Louisiana is the top oyster producer in the country. Yet, the state experiences an oyster shell deficit. Most shells removed from coastal waters are not returned, and worse yet, many shells end up in landfills.It is important to keep oyster shells in the water because they provide a habitat for new oyster growth. Baby oysters rely on the shells of adults or deceased oysters so they can attach, settle and grow.Oyster reefs improve water quality, provide fishing habitat, support the local economy, and help protect the shoreline by being one of the first lines of defense against storm surge. It’s important to keep reefs thriving in our waters.That’s where the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana steps in. Since 2014, the group has been recycling used oyster shells from New Orleans area restaurants and using them to build oyster reefs in coastal waters.”What we’ve seen with our reef projects is actually a 50% reduction in the rate of marsh erosion in the marsh that the reef is built in front of, compared to a controlled site,” said Darrah Bach, the oyster shell recycling program coordinator for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.Watch the video above for the full story.

Every day, 1.3 million Louisiana oysters are consumed in the United States. According to the Department of Health, Louisiana is the top oyster producer in the country. Yet, the state experiences an oyster shell deficit. Most shells removed from coastal waters are not returned, and worse yet, many shells end up in landfills.

It is important to keep oyster shells in the water because they provide a habitat for new oyster growth. Baby oysters rely on the shells of adults or deceased oysters so they can attach, settle and grow.

Oyster reefs improve water quality, provide fishing habitat, support the local economy, and help protect the shoreline by being one of the first lines of defense against storm surge. It’s important to keep reefs thriving in our waters.

That’s where the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana steps in. Since 2014, the group has been recycling used oyster shells from New Orleans area restaurants and using them to build oyster reefs in coastal waters.

“What we’ve seen with our reef projects is actually a 50% reduction in the rate of marsh erosion in the marsh that the reef is built in front of, compared to a controlled site,” said Darrah Bach, the oyster shell recycling program coordinator for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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