trouble in the nursery? studying ocracoke’s oyster babies
Oysters are in important piece of our delicate Outer Banks ecosystem, and oyster restoration has become a high priority in state and university research. Currently UNCW is studying oyster spat (or oyster babies) to help get to the bottom of why Ocracoke’s oysters typically only live four years, instead of a typical Eastern oyster lifespan of 10 years. In Pat Garber’s article on the NC Coastal Federation’s Coastal Review Online, she meets a group of people working for answers.
“Along with being a popular food and a valuable source of jobs, oysters play several important roles in marine ecosystems. They filter water as they feed, and studies show that one oyster can filter 25 to as much 50 gallons of water a day in their quest for food. In the process they cycle nutrients and nitrogen through the water and clean the water of pollutants.”