Pilot Oyster Restoration Data Dorchester, Massachusetts

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This presentation contains survival growth data from a successful pilot project to determine if oysters could survive in Dorchester's Malibu Bay. The Massachusetts Oyster Project for Clean Water conducted the pilot as part of its ongoing effort to restore oysters to the estuaries of Boston Harbor. To learn more visit www.massoyster.org

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Pilot Oyster Restoration Data Dorchester, Massachusetts

  1. 1. massoyster.org The Massachusetts Oyster Project For Clean WaterThe Massachusetts Oyster Project For Clean Water Restoring oysters to their natural range to improve harborRestoring oysters to their natural range to improve harbor water qualitywater quality 20102010 Oyster Growth DataOyster Growth Data Dorchester Yacht ClubDorchester Yacht Club Malibu BayMalibu Bay Boston, MABoston, MA
  2. 2. massoyster.org Our GoalOur Goal Re-establish protected oyster reefRe-establish protected oyster reef populations in the waters of Boston Harborpopulations in the waters of Boston Harbor to improve water quality, offset run-offto improve water quality, offset run-off pollution, attract other sea life and helppollution, attract other sea life and help perpetuate the species.perpetuate the species. These oysters will be placed in areas closedThese oysters will be placed in areas closed to shell fishing and are not intended to beto shell fishing and are not intended to be harvested.harvested.
  3. 3. massoyster.org Oyster BenefitsOyster Benefits  Filtering water in rivers and tidal estuariesFiltering water in rivers and tidal estuaries  30 gallons per oyster per day30 gallons per oyster per day  Feeding on phytoplankton and siltFeeding on phytoplankton and silt  Improves water clarityImproves water clarity  Offsetting impact from sewer overflows and other manmadeOffsetting impact from sewer overflows and other manmade pollutantspollutants  Capturing nitrogen, algae and bacteriaCapturing nitrogen, algae and bacteria  Buffering ocean acidificationBuffering ocean acidification  Cleaner water attracts other sea life and peopleCleaner water attracts other sea life and people Crassostrea Virginica
  4. 4. massoyster.org Oysters in Malibu BayOysters in Malibu Bay DorchesterDorchester  Oysters were placed on November 26Oysters were placed on November 26thth 2009 under the2009 under the auspices of a scientific permit from Massachusettsauspices of a scientific permit from Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.Division of Marine Fisheries.  The oysters were split into two groups. Each group wasThe oysters were split into two groups. Each group was suspended off of a dock in two stacked milk crates.suspended off of a dock in two stacked milk crates.  The milk crates were checked periodically and theThe milk crates were checked periodically and the oysters were measured.oysters were measured.  Two sets of oysters were placed.Two sets of oysters were placed.  One was lost during dock construction.One was lost during dock construction.  The second was lost temporarily but recoveredThe second was lost temporarily but recovered  Key lesson on placement- choose discrete permanent location.Key lesson on placement- choose discrete permanent location.  Oysters removed on October 1, 2010 per the request ofOysters removed on October 1, 2010 per the request of DMF.DMF.
  5. 5. massoyster.org Boston Harbor MapBoston Harbor Map Dorchester Yacht Club In Malibu Bay The bay has full, 12 foot tidal swings and a muddy bottom. The edges contain sandy beach, mudflats, wetland grass and stony areas.
  6. 6. massoyster.org A special “Thank you” to Al and theA special “Thank you” to Al and the membership of Dorchester Yacht Club.membership of Dorchester Yacht Club. They are very interested in improving the Harbor andThey are very interested in improving the Harbor and delightful to terrific to work with.delightful to terrific to work with.
  7. 7. massoyster.org Oyster SizeOyster Size OYSTER LENGTH (Location: DORCHESTER YACHT CLUB) 12 32 52 72 May 21 2010 June 21 2010 July 28 2010 September 1, 2010 October 1, 2010 SIZE(MM) Max. Shell Length Mean Shell Length Min. Shell Length
  8. 8. massoyster.org Oyster Size NormalizedOyster Size Normalized HistogramsHistograms Normalized Histograms Dorchester 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 14 17 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 44 47 50 53 56 59 62 65 68 71 74 77 80 83 86 89 Size May-10 10-Oct
  9. 9. massoyster.org Length Standard DeviationLength Standard Deviation Length Standard Deviation Dorchester Oysters 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 May 21 2010 June 21 2010 July 28 2010 September 1, 2010 October 1, 2010 Millimeters We physically lost some oysters here, which may have narrowed the sample. It seemed like the oysters had a target length for entering the second winter ~75 mm
  10. 10. massoyster.org Normalized Size HistogramNormalized Size Histogram Normalized Histograms Dorchester 14 17 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 44 47 50 53 56 59 62 65 68 71 74 77 80 83 86 89 Size 10-Oct
  11. 11. massoyster.org Average Weight Dorchester Oysters 0.000 0.010 0.020 0.030 0.040 0.050 0.060 0.070 0.080 0.090 May 21 2010 June 21 2010 July 28 2010 September 1, 2010 October 1, 2010 Pounds Oyster Weight in PoundsOyster Weight in Pounds
  12. 12. massoyster.org Water Temperature DataWater Temperature Data Temperature Dorchester Yacht Club (Degrees F) Captured Using I-Button measuring every four hours. 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 10/14/2009 12/3/2009 1/22/2010 3/13/2010 5/2/2010 6/21/2010 8/10/2010 9/29/2010 11/18/2010
  13. 13. massoyster.org ConclusionsConclusions  Oysters can survive in Dorchester’s Malibu Bay in aOysters can survive in Dorchester’s Malibu Bay in a caged environment.caged environment.  Oysters can grow at a healthy pace in Dorchester’sOysters can grow at a healthy pace in Dorchester’s Malibu Bay while suspended in the Water Column.Malibu Bay while suspended in the Water Column.  We saw no sign of reproduction. However, we were notWe saw no sign of reproduction. However, we were not anticipating it. Further study would be required to confirmanticipating it. Further study would be required to confirm that reproduction is possible in this environment.that reproduction is possible in this environment. However, the impressive growth may inidicate favorableHowever, the impressive growth may inidicate favorable conditions.conditions.  Given that oysters once were prevalent throughoutGiven that oysters once were prevalent throughout Boston Harbor and that there are significantBoston Harbor and that there are significant environmental benefits from their presence, furtherenvironmental benefits from their presence, further research and restoration efforts on this topic may beresearch and restoration efforts on this topic may be warranted.warranted.

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