Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Texas as leader in Gulf Restoration

Texas has been exceedingly lucky in the gulf oil spill debacle.  So far our beaches and wetlands have been unaffected and it seems likely to remain that way due to ocean currents that are carrying the oil in the opposite direction.

The Nature Conservancy along with the Texas Parks & Wildlife and US Fish & Wildlife Departments have been working together for four years to protect under water oyster beds and sea grass meadows "that comprise the foundation of the gulf's delicate ecological structure."  Two years ago the Conservancy started an oyster reef restoration project by colonizing live oysters and creating self-sustaining reefs in Copana and Matagorda bays on the Texas coast.  With these two projects Texas could lead the way to recolonizing oyster beds along the gulf coast once the spill is cleaned up.

Who knew that oysters were so important?  The average oyster filters 40 to 60 gallons of water a day, sort of like a mini water reclamation plant.  Without oyster beds the ocean would be extremely polluted, don't think I'll be eating any raw oysters any time soon. 

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