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Volunteer your St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon dock for water restoration

Florida Oceanographic Society launches program to restore waterways, improve biodiversity
Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 14:44:35-04

STUART, Fla. — The Florida Oceanographic Society is seeking homeowners and local residents with personal or private docks to help improve water quality in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon.

FOS is collaborating with Florida Tech to help restore local waterways and improve biodiversity via the Living Docks and Oyster Gardening Program.

According to FOS, a "Living Dock" consists of mats made from aquaculture grade mesh, with dried oyster shells, which are then attached to dock pilings. The chemical composition in the shells attracts oysters, as well as other bivalves through chemical cues, and acts as natural habitat for filter-feeding organisms to settle on. In return, these communities will attract larger organisms such as fish, dolphins, and turtles, creating a diverse ecosystem.

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Oyster gardening is another restoration tool FOS is using to improve water quality and enhance oyster reefs by protecting young oysters from predators and competition.

FOS says a portion of the Living Docks will be paired with oyster gardening to see how overall water quality is impacted by the presence of both.

To volunteer your dock, click here.

The last day to sign-up is June 1.