Public invited to hear experts discuss Little Lagoon Oysters
April 23 meeting topics: oyster gardening initiatives, shoreline restoration
The public is invited to learn about two large scale oyster gardening projects in Little Lagoon during the April 23 Little Lagoon Preservation Society meeting at the Gulf Shores Activity Center (260 Clubhouse Dr.). Social time begins at 5:30 p.m., and the meeting starts at 6 p.m.
P.J. Waters will provide details on one large-scale oyster gardening project, including plans for infrastructure. The work which could result in the addition of three million oysters will be carried out by Waters’ students in the Auburn Marine Extension & Research Center and funded through the RESTORE Act.
In addition, Dan Bond, the City of Gulf Shores Environmental/Grants Coordinator, will brief attendees on Restore Fund projects that include large scale oyster gardening, shoreline and marsh restoration, septic tank conversion, canal remediation, hydrodynamic modeling, and water quality determinations in Little Lagoon.
The almost $6 million City of Gulf Shores RESTORE project will restore and improve approximately 2,500 acres of habitat within Little Lagoon by creating 1,000 feet of living shorelines, improving connectivity of the existing canal system, converting approximately 200 septic systems, restoring shellfish and marsh/seagrass, and conducting ecological research and long-term monitoring.
The LLPS’s own oyster gardening group went from 25 gardeners in its first year to around 50 in 2018, when the group (pictured above) turned over 45,000 oysters that were transplanted onto closed reefs in Mobile Bay. The oysters are strictly for environmental benefit.
With the help of the gardeners, these tiny oysters will filter water and provide habitat for other aquatic species.
LLPS President Dennis Hatfield said he again expects 50 homeowners along Little Lagoon to participate in the program this year.