Our Yearly Service and Teambuilding Event for Environmental Responsibility (OYSTER)
A team of GMP volunteers had the opportunity to join an environmental enhancement project in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) Program. On the 27th of June 2014, the volunteers went to Charleston (South Carolina) to further develop an existing oyster reef on the Wappoo Cut which is part of the intracoastal waterway system. The team along with SCDNR employees loaded a skiff with 300 bags of oyster shells, transporting them to the site, then placing them at the reef location.
Oysters act as natural filters to maintain water quality. They also stabilize the banks of the waterways to prevent bank erosion, marsh destruction and silting of the coastal waterways. Not only do the reefs promote habitat for oysters, they support approximately 90 species of plant and animal life. The reef is constructed from recycled oyster shells (primarily reclaimed from restaurants) that are bagged to keep them stabilized until the naturally occurring flora and fauna becomes established, permanently locking them together.
The location of the build was chosen by SCDNR to protect the adjacent marshes from boat traffic along the intracoastal waterway.