Protecting Suncoast bays with oyster gardens

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 6:42 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Local organizations are teaming up to install unique tools to help protect the ecosystem in our local bays.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and a local non-profit called the Oyster Boys string together 20 oyster shells and place them in the brackish water throughout the area.

Oyster Boys founder Dom Marino says 90% of the oyster population has been decimated over the last 100 years.

The shells provide a place for young oysters to attach, giving them the natural substance they need to grow.

Oysters provide clean water by sucking in water, removing the toxins and releasing the water back out. This clean water helps mitigate algae blooms like red tide, which hurts both Florida’s economy and the surrounding ecosystem.

These oyster gardens have most recently been installed at Bayfront Park on Longboat Key.

If you would like to add some of these to the water in your area, you can pick them up for free at The Robinson Preserve in Bradenton.