Thursday, August 4, 2016

City of Virginia Beach Has Comprehensive Oyster Restoration Program- A Model for Boston and Massachusetts Coastal Cities

The city of Virginia Beach, Virginia sits on the Lynnhaven River. The oyster population is a tiny fraction of what once was an enormous population.  

Map of Lynnhaven River Basin   Virginia Beach is to the right.

The program contains several key elements-

1. Goals of restoring the oyster population

  • Improving water quality
  • Enhancing biodiversity

2. Oyster restoration efforts

3. Oyster shell recycling with drop off

4. Oyster gardening

5. Non-profit partnerships

We have excerpted this page from the City Government's website. The oyster restoration piece is under the Environment and Sustainability Office. 

Increasing the local oyster population is one of the most effective ways to enhance our water quality. In addition to water quality benefit, oyster reefs provide a myriad of other environmental benefits as well. The reefs act as needed habitat for young fish and crabs, providing both a source of food and protection. 

Oyster Heritage Fund Donations

The Oyster Heritage Fund Donation is voluntary and intended to support ongoing efforts to improve water quality and the Bay environmental habitat.  When City Council adopted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Ordinance, Section 102.A. states the following:
"The intent of the City Council and the purpose of this ordinance are to: (1) protect existing high quality state waters; (2) prevent any increase in pollution; and (3) restore state waters to a condition or quality that will permit all reasonable public uses and will support the propagation and growth of all aquatic life, including game fish, which might reasonably be expected to inhabit them."

The Oyster Heritage Fund Donation is currently calculated as follows:

"Proposed impervious cover in the Resource Protection Area (RPA) divided by 4, divided by 27 (cubic yards), times 15, and times $1.65 for the total amount required. Said amount is based on 25% of the proposed impervious cover within the RPA and shall provide an equivalent oyster shell plant within the Lynnhaven River Basin approximately 12 inches deep."
Any questions please contact the Department of Planning and Community Development, Environment and Sustainability Office, 757-385-4621.

Nonprofits Restoration Efforts 

In the summer of 2006, Lynnhaven River NOW launched a pilot program with eight Virginia Beach restaurants, as well as public donations, to gather and recycle oyster and clam shells which were used to build Athey Island Oyster Reef in the spring of 2008. The pilot program was so successful, that it is now an ongoing program in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach. Learn more about this program and public drop-off sites.
Photo provided by: Lynnhaven River NOWHave you wondered how you might get more involved with Lynnhaven River restoration? Oyster gardening may be just the opportunity that you have been looking for. 
Restoring native oysters to the Chesapeake Bay is a high priority for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. It is a long-term and large-scale process that requires the participation and commitment of federal and state agencies, and watershed groups, as well as local citizens. Read about the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's oyster restoration programs and how you can help bring back the oysters.​​​
One of the Crystal Club's primary initiatives is to facilitate and fund the construction of more sanctuary oyster reefs throughout the Crystal Lake area, thereby helping to improve water quality.  


  1. It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites. php drug rehab

  2. I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. 국산야동

    Please visit once. I leave my blog address below

  3. It's usually a very nice and informative blog..keep sharing..We are very much interested in your blog please keep updating us.. As you said above it's very true
    virginia personal injury attorney!