More than 20 volunteers are needed Saturday to get their feet wet and help protect local marine life by providing habitat for the native Olympia oyster in Upper Newport Bay.
Coastkeeper’s Living Shorelines project strategically places natural materials like oyster shell and eelgrass to protect the shoreline from erosion and rising sea levels. The sustainable project improves water quality and provides habitat to attract fish, crustaceans and other marine life.
Coastkeeper and hundreds of volunteers have already planted more than 2,500 square meters of eelgrass in the last five years. For the first time, Coastkeeper will expand this project by creating habitat for the nearly extinct native Olympia oysters. This innovative project will provide the benefits of restoring eelgrass and oysters simultaneously.
According to Coastkeeper, in order to keep pace with future sea level rise and other climate related stresses, conservation and restoration of these key habitat-forming species must happen now.
Since the 1990s, more than 85 percent of the world’s oyster reefs have disappeared, according to The Nature Conservancy. Living Shoreline habitats provide a flourishing coastal habitat to attract and preserve marine life, reduce erosion and stabilize shorelines.
Volunteers are needed from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. People interested are asked to park at Southwind Kayak Center Rental Base, at 100 N Bayside Dr.