LONG-TERM OYSTER MONITORING
We are assessing the growth and long-term survival of oyster spat in the St. Lucie Estuary and Indian River Lagoon by utilizing newly developed concrete spat modules mounted to PVC “trees”. This study will provide insight into the differences in growth and mortality rates among oyster spat related to ecological stressors.
Plastic Free Alternatives for Oyster Restoration
We are currently developing and testing plastic-free oyster reef restoration modules. These modules are designed to be deployable by citizen scientists and will provide a substrate for oyster settlement without introducing plastics into our waterways.
Jensen Beach Impoundment Recovery
We are monitoring hydrology, water quality, vegetation and the resulting effects on ecosystem services along a gradient of mangrove stress in the Jensen Beach Impoundment. These results will help guide future mangrove restoration projects in the area.
We are researching the impact that hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) have on the growth of Shoal Grass (Halodule wrightii) in mesocosm and field experiments. These results will help to improve seagrass and hard clam restoration in the Indian River Lagoon.
SARGASSUM – MANGROVE INTERACTIONS
We are documenting the effects of nutrient enrichment from decaying Sargassum on mangrove growth. This work will provide insight into the implications of Sargassum proliferation on coastal ecosystems.
LIVING DOCKS AND OYSTER GARDENING
We are researching the benthic communities that recruit to our Living Docks. We are interested in understanding how they change spatially and temporally, how the presence of oyster gardening changes these communities, and the impact that these communities have on water quality.