Local News

Apr 25, 2014 1:07 PM by Janine Reyes

Study: Oysters Save $300k in Clean Up Services

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Whether or not you like to eat oysters, you should have an appreciation for them if you live here in the Coastal Bend.

Here's why: each year, they save you and me at least $300,000 in bay water clean up.

The best part is, they work for free!

"We know that oysters can filter an enormous amount of water and make it very very clear for us, you can think of them like little mini water treatment plants," explained Texas A&M University Marine Biology Professor Jennifer Pollack.

She shared with us video of those 'mini water treatment plants' in action in Chesapeake Bay. In a very short span of time, they're able to clear the water they're in.

Pollack participated in a study that found in Copano Bay and Aransas Bay alone, they're services are worth $300,000 a year, but that amount is much higher if you consider all the water around us, she explained.

"They work for free," Pollack said.

So, what exactly does clean water do for you?

It keeps Algal Blooms at bay, stops fish kills and gives you clean water to enjoy.

"We want to recreate in an area where the water's clean, the water's clear, where there's good fishing opportunities, swimming and oysters are helping to maintain these services that we get," Pollack explained.

But, if we don't take care of those oysters, they won't take care of us.

That's why Pollack is part of a group who collects shells from area restaurants, removes any contamination, then puts them back in the water where they create the perfect home for future oysters.

"We're making their home better for them, really," Pollack explained.

And if they have a better home, so do we.

There is an oyster reef restoration event coming to Goose Island State Park on May 10th at 8:30 a.m.

By the way, Water Street is a contributing restaurant to the oyster reef restoration project, so if you eat oysters there, you are also helping restore the reef.

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