Welcome to Oysters Forever
We are engaging the community of Gloucester, Virginia and surroundings to construct oyster habitat sanctuaries to promote clean water in the Mobjack Bay and its estuaries and to help restore oyster populations to a level that will help sustain the health of the Bay for all to enjoy. This includes watermen, fishermen, boaters, swimmers, hunters, and all who enjoy or work in the Bay environment.
What We Do
How do oysters clean the water?
Oysters eat algae. They do this by filtering the water that washes over them. Fertilizer and manure runoff in the rivers upstream promotes excess algae growth. Anything solid that is filtered by the oyster and is not algae is turned to sand and drops to the bottom. In this way, the oyster removes turbidity and excess algae that clouds the water, blocking the sun's rays from getting to submerged vegetation. Oyster reefs create habitat for hatchling fish and become natural fish havens. They also prevent erosion from wave action. In this way, waterfront property is protected from storms. More oyster reefs means more oysters releasing oyster embryos into the water which means more oysters setting on public and private oyster grounds for watermen to harvest.
Oysters desperate to find anything on river bottom to use as an anchor
When castles are first installed, they look like this
Why use cured concrete?
Oyster shell is the ideal structure for oyster embryos to attach to but shell is scarce and expensive. Embryos will attach to concrete structures. Vertical structure and especially structure that has many nooks and crannies protects the embryos from natural predators. That is why we are using concrete oyster castles and pyramids. These structures also provide stability for the reef, preventing erosion and breaking wave action, which helps the reef get established and immediately provides erosion control for the shoreline.
Oyster Habitat Planting Projects
involve members of the community
to assemble and install the structures
Saving the Bay through self-sustaining oyster sanctuary reefs!
Support Us With Your Donation!
Every $10 donation buys one Castle Block!
Now you have an opportunity to be personally involved in improving the quality of the tidal waters of Gloucester, VA. Currently we are working on building a reef in Carter Creek. We need funds to purchase oyster castle blocks to use in constructing the reef. Once we receive enough funding, we can schedule a planting. All interested members of the community will be invited to come help install the blocks!