New Project Restores Gulf Habitat, One Mile of Oysters At a Time
Photo Credit: Beth Young, via The Nature Conservancy
It's called the 100-1000 partnership -- 100 miles of new oyster reefs and 1,000 miles of re-planted marshlands in coastal Alabama, thanks to a coalition of non-profits, including Alabama Coastal Foundation, Mobile Baykeeper, The Nature Conservancy and The Ocean Foundation. Because of the damage done to marshlands, oyster reef habitats and seagrass beds through human activities -- the most recent of which is of course the Gulf oil disaster -- fisheries have suffered. But the coalition and its "100-1000 partnership" aims to bring back the buffers that protect important species one mile at a time.
The oyster reefs create the necessary conditions for re-planting the marshlands, which will all result in nursery habitat for shellfish that are commercially caught. Thus restored habitat also means restored jobs.
The project states, "Many of the workers and small businesses who will support this effort are the same people whose jobs have been threatened by the spill-- creating a truly win-win effort for both fisheries and our citizens... Engaging volunteers to plant critical marsh grasses, a habitat directly impacted by the spill, is a great way to accomplish the important goals of this partnership."
If you're in the Mobile Bay area of Alabama, or have some vacation time planned that you want to volunteer, take a moment to check out the 100-1000 partnership and see how you might be able to help restore the gulf coastlines and fisheries.
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