In celebration of National Oyster Day, we are highlighting the ways that these sustainable and nutritious bivalves benefit the ocean!
- Oysters have a low impact on the ocean – they do not require additional ocean resources to feed. They filter-feed on tiny particles including phytoplankton and organic matter already found in the water.
- Not only do oysters require very little ocean resources, they actually improve the quality of the water! An oyster can filter more than 50 gallons of water in just one day, making waterways cleaner for other marine wildlife.
- As oysters settle on top of one another, they create oyster reefs. These structures serve as habitat for other marine wildlife, such as fish and crabs.
- Once large enough, oyster reefs serve as a protective barrier for shoreline marshes, helping to prevent erosion.
Oysters are a seafood staple here in Lowcountry, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) manages our state’s oyster habitats. SCDNR has initiated the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) program in which they facilitate the restoration of oyster habitats by planting recycled oyster shells to form new, self-sustaining oyster reefs. Learn more about how you can help protect oyster habitats in South Carolina here.