Building shellfish reefs


Shellfish reefs are natural breakwaters with a demonstrated a capacity to withstand storm winds and waves, mitigating the impact of extreme weather on coastal communities. The reefs also contribute to reduced erosion in the coastal zone. Seeding and cultivating reef-building shellfish can enhance coastal resilience. As filter-feeders, shellfish also contribute to improved water quality through filtration. Oysters and mussels can be harvested for food, providing a direct value in addition to supporting habitat for numerous other species. This concept focuses on the creation of shellfish (bivalve) reefs and describes the habitat requirements for shellfish reefs in soft sediment habitats, based on experience with the Pacific Oyster.